Criminal paroled after hate-crime attack gets slashed on subway, claims NYC crime ‘has gotten out of hand’

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NEW YORK CITY – A man who was paroled last year for a hate crime attack said New York City needs more police to crack down on the rising levels of crime, including subway slashings.

Dimitrios Zias, 44, was paroled last year for a 2017 hate-crime attack on a Jewish woman and her mother, but became the victim of a knife slashing on a subway platform on May 18.

In an interview with New York Post, Zias said:

“I feel like a lot of these guys, they feel like they are not going to be held accountable and they just feel like they can go out to harass people or attack them.

“They need to be more strict on crime so people will think twice about, you know, about randomly stabbing people, harassing people.”

Zias also added that more police are needed, especially on subway platforms:

“It has gotten out of hand. The only thing they can do is basically have more police officers.”

Zias was slashed on the side of his neck by an unidentified man who used a pocket knife to attack him during an argument that escalated into violence around 4 p.m. on an L train platform in Union Square, according to New York Post’s report.

His assailant then entered a subway car and left the area.

Zias told New York Post that he served in the military and used his training to remain calm and covered his neck wound with his face mask after the slashing. He estimated that he lost about a pint of blood and said it required three stitches to close the wound.

The New York Post looked into his background and noted that while he claimed he was an accountant, online state records did not show him licensed as one.

Zias told the newspaper he practices privately because of the felony conviction of his unprovoked attack on a mother and daughter.

The hate crime happened in Queens on Sept. 13, 2017. Zias approached two women he assumed were Muslims and yelled at the 37-year-old daughter, “Get out of my country, you dirty Muslim!”

Zias then spit in her face and punched her several times, according to a report by Jewish Telegraphic Agency. When the mother, 57, intervened, Zias grabbed her hair and punched her several times too.

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Zias was later arrested and pleaded guilty the following year to third-degree assault as a hate crime and was sentenced to 1-1/2 to 3 years in prison, according to New York Post’s report.

Zias was released on parole from the medium-security Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County in June 2020, according to online prison records. His parole expired in early April, the records show, according to New York Post.

He was also arrested in 2015 for taking photos while aiming his cellphone under a woman’s skirt inside a store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s report.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful surveillance in that case, according to prison records, and was apparently on probation when he got busted for the Queens attack.

In a follow-up interview with New York Post, Zias acknowledged his criminal history and expressed remorse for his past actions and pointed out that he is a crime victim too and deserves justice:

“I paid my debt to society. I took full responsibility for what I did. I’m not the same person today that I was when I committed the crime.

“But in this case, I am the victim. This is attempted murder. He stabbed me in the neck. He tried to kill me.

“He should be held accountable for what he did just as how I was held accountable for what I did.”

Crime has been spiking in New York City, and there has been an uptick in knifings, shootings and assaults since defunding of the police kicked off.

On May 18, a 54-year-old woman was slashed several times in an unprovoked attack inside a Manhattan subway station. 

The New York Post reported the victim was standing on a platform inside the 14th Street-Union Square station when she was attacked from behind by a 22-year-old man at about 10:10 p.m.

The suspect slashed the woman across her left shoulder, left collarbone area and the upper chest, sources said.

A witness to the attack jumped into action and subdued the suspect until police arrived, according to sources.

The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Also on May 18, a man was slashed during a fight with two others inside a Manhattan subway station, according to another New York Post report.

Three men were on the platform of the Cathedral Parkway – 110th Street 1 train station in Morningside Heights around 1 a.m. when a fight erupted and one 26-year-old man was slashed in the arm.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside for treatment. One suspect was in custody and the other was still at large.

On May 16, a 16-year-old suspect was arraigned for his alleged role in a string of brutal subway slashings in Manhattan. Prosecutors said he was involved with a gang initiation ritual.

The teen was charged with first degree assault, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon and held on $50,000 bail.

According to a report, the suspect and his cohorts entered the subway station at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue and robbed multiple individuals along the 6 train line.

One victim was slashed in the face. One accomplice encouraged the teen to slash the victim again.

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to temporarily add 250 more police patrols to city subways, but it won’t be enough to tackle the surge in transit crimes, transit officials and police sources said last Monday.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye said at a briefing:

“I think we need more beyond that, but the dialogue between the MTA and the state and the city should continue and I thank the mayor for the additional police officers.

“We need a commitment from City Hall that these patrols will remain dedicated to the transit system as we recover.”

One unidentified NYPD officer told New York Post:

“It’s crazy. Those subways are a mess. You have no idea how crazy it is. 250? You need at least 1,000 cops there, and if they see something they don’t want to do anything ’cause they feel they are not being backed.”


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