NEW YORK CITY- Can you imagine being at a New York Mets game, enjoying time with your family, buying overpriced hot dogs and drinks, and you figure out that a group of felons are sitting next to you and your kids?

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has stationed workers on Rikers Island to dole out gifts to all departing inmates. 

Carrying all of the taxpayer-purchased rewards, including $25 debit cards, Mets tickets, free transit passes, movie tickets, and various gift cards, has become such a burden that the city is working to purchase drawstring bags so criminals can pack their prizes out more easily.

There are even plans in the works to kick in some prepaid cell phones as part of New York’s soft-on-crime criminal justice reform law changes.  Over $500,000 has been used to purchase additional items, such as winter coats, the New York Post reported. The Steve Madden shoe company has also donated footwear to the cause.

Pre-paid phones, Mets tickets, and Steve Madden shoes?   Seriously?

Although de Blasio originally touted the gifts as an incentive to get people to show up to court, they’re now being bestowed upon all exiting criminals – including those who have wrapped up their sentences and have no further court hearings in connection with their latest round of offenses. 

The city is using taxpayer dollars not only to shower criminals with gifts, but also to pay the workers from nonprofit groups that are doling everything out to them.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when the city bends over backward to reward criminals instead of protecting the victims of their crimes,” one law enforcement source told us. “What’s next? Free limo service back home?”

As many as 15,000 inmates are expected to rake in the prizes supplied by the incentive program, according to the New York Post.

“2020 is going to be the year of the perp,” one law enforcement source told the paper.

De Blasio said it’s good to take care of people.

“In a world where we want speedier trials and we want the justice system to work, if small incentives are part of what actually makes it work, then that’s a smart policy,” de Blasio said.

He made the comments on Wednesday.

“It’s not something we developed. It’s something that has been worked on by experts over time and proven to work and proven to be a good investment.”

As confident as the mayor may be in the plan, many of those who have actually worked with offenders disagreed. 

Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon said the program is part of a “deranged mandate.” He further explained:

“We are reaching the point of the absurd when those who are accused of serious offenses are free to roam the streets or even rewarded with gifts while the rights of victims continue to be ignored.”

It’s unbelievable, he said.

“They are tying our hands, they’re tying our feet and they’re gagging victims from coming forward to stand up for their rights,” McMahon added, according to the New York Post. “Many people accused with violent crimes, serious felonies, are going to be back on the street.”

These gifts of phones, shoes, and ballgame tickets fall on the heels of the newly developed “bail reform” statute that goes into effect today, January 1st.

As a part of the program, prosecutors will have just 15 days from the time of arraignment to hand over all evidence pertaining to a case – including victim and witness information, WSTM reported.

Cases can be dismissed if prosecutors fail to meet the deadline, Albany County District Attorney David Soares told the news outlet.

“’By the way, I have to provide your cell phone number to his lawyer in a few weeks,’” Soares used as an example of what he will be forced to tell crime victims. “I don’t know how I’m going to have these conversations with a victim.”

As we reported last week, as part of the coming New York bail reform, criminals will now be allowed to inspect their own crime scenes.  

“We will undoubtedly see a chilling effect on cooperation by those impacted by crime, choosing instead to protect their own privacy and avoid being re-victimized,” McMahon warned. “While there certainly was room to improve New York’s criminal justice system, the ‘reforms’ to our bail and discovery statutes supported by our state Legislature and Governor Cuomo blew past any semblance of fairness or justice.”

Let’s say a suspect commits a residential burglary.  Well it only makes sense that he should get to return to the home where he committed the crime and inspect the homeowner’s property as part of their defense.

Lt. Steven Stockdale of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said police will have a difficult time explaining to victims why they’ll be allowing an offending burglar back into the victim’s home.

“It really boggles the mind that this is a reality for us now.  Talk about re-victimization,” he said.

The purpose of allowing them back into the home, or wherever the crime scene may be? 

“So that the defendant and his representatives can return to it, take photographs, take measurements, and stuff along those lines,” Stockdale said.

Additionally, if the victim is a homeowner and doesn’t comply with the defendant’s new right to revisit their burglarized home, they could be arrested.

If that wasn’t bad enough, suspects will also be almost immediately provided a full list of named witnesses set to testify against them in court. 

No longer can witnesses be assured of their protected identity without explicitly requesting a protective order from a judge, as the list must be handed over within 15 days of the arraignment hearing.

No doubt that will assure witnesses promptly come forward to assist police in their investigations. 

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said this “is a seismic change that undoubtedly will dissuade witnesses who live in all neighborhoods from reporting crime.”

Other changes packed in with these “bail reforms” are the fact that “non-violent” criminals don’t have to sit in jail waiting for their trial dates.  Nor do they have to post bail.  They will be released at the scene of the crime and told to come back for their court date.

Included in the list of “non-violent” crimes are:

Second-degree manslaughter;

Aggravated vehicular assault;

Third-degree assault;

Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child;

Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child;

Promoting a sexual performance by a child;

Failure to register as a sex offender;

Making terroristic threats;

Criminally negligent homicide; and

Aggravated vehicular homicide.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, is receiving many thanks for passing this legislation.  Of course, those sentiments are coming from criminals.

Jose Jorge, 47-years-old, is a drug dealer facing 96 years in prison and reportedly laughed regarding a man who died after using drugs Jorge’s crew sold him.  The drug was reportedly a mix of fentanyl, heroin, and alparazolam.  Jorge was being held without bail, but after court last month, he was released without paying any bail at all. 

As he walked out of the court room, Jorge yelled, in Spanish, “Cuomo for President!”  His attorney told him to be quiet, but Jorge couldn’t contain his praises for Cuomo and his criminal-freeing legislation. 

“It’s in my heart, man.  It’s in my heart, bro,” he proclaimed to news cameras.

Several of the co-defendants in Jorge’s case were released on the same day. 

Although the new bail reform laws don’t take effect until January 2020, Justice Abraham Clott said that if he waited until then, “mayhem would ensue” if he didn’t start the releases now.  The judge said:

“Total system chaos would result to delay changing bail conditions when cases are being adjourned past the effective date of the law.” 

Justice Clott also said:

“The legislature has determined that incarceration is not appropriate for a narcotics defendant facing a lifetime in prison.”

Also in New York, Skylar Crouse, 30-years -old, killed a 38-year-old man by striking him with his vehicle while he lead police on a chase. 

He is currently in jail, but will be released on January 1 thanks to Cuomo’s bail reform.  If the incident had occurred after that date, he never would have seen a jail cell. 

In a statement, Cuomo remarked that he doesn’t believe that “a person’s freedom while awaiting trial should depend on how much money is in their bank account.”

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino, who was previously a judge for 18 years, said:

“You’re going to see a large spike in people not going to court in the first six to nine months of this, then you’re going to see our officers spending numerous hours, numerous days tracking people who have been bench warranted.”

So, America, sit back, relax, and grab the popcorn as we watch all hell break loose in New York.  And while you’re at it, say a prayer for NY law enforcement and the innocent, law-abiding citizens of the state.

In the meantime, police officers across the country continue to be the target of attacks by criminals.

Last week, a man from Bergen, NY ended an 11-hour rampage where he stole a car and robbed two gas stations, by assaulting two officers and dousing them with gasoline.

Last Sunday at around 6:45 p.m., Elon Seeger, 31, was involved in a domestic incident in Bergen. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the call. When they arrived at the scene, Seeger stole a vehicle belonging to a family member and drove it at two of the deputies.

Shortly afterward Just after 7:01 p.m., a robbery was reported at a Kwik Fill gas station in the town of Chili. Monroe County deputies responded to the call and based on the description of the perpetrator it was determined that Seeger was the suspect in that incident as well.

Several hours later at around 11:30 p.m., the stolen vehicle, occupied by a man matching Seeger’s description was seen in in the town of Scottsville, however it fled before deputies could make contact with the driver.

The next morning at 5:10 a.m., another robbery was reported at a Speedway convenience store in Chili. Once again, the suspect was identified as Seeger. The suspect vehicle was found about 10 minutes later by officers of the Gates Police Department in a parking lot.

Two police officers approached Seeger, when he suddenly assaulted them and poured gasoline on them. Police body-cam footage obtained by WHEC shows the moment when Seeger doused the officers with gasoline.

According to police, a violent struggle ensued, however Seeger was subsequently arrested, and charged by Gates police with second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and resisting arrest. One of the arresting officers reported a laceration and bruising on his forehead.

Seeger also faces charges in Genesee County, including attempted assault on a law enforcement officer, fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Unbelievably, Seeger was committed to Monroe County Jail and was scheduled to appear this past Friday for a preliminary hearing.

As LET has reported several times, New York is schedule to implement new criminal justice and bail reforms on Jan 1. Under those guidelines, many of the charges that Seeger was charged with will be ineligible for cash bail OR jail time.

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New York releasing criminals early and handing out lavish parting gifts on taxpayer dime

Seeger is not a stranger to run-ins with law enforcement. He served two years at Franklin Correctional Facility after he was convicted in 2015 for second-degree criminal mischief in Monroe County.

Meanwhile, a Medina, NY man who was involved in a domestic violence incident in November was placed in jail after twice escaping police custody, according to Medina village police.

Police were called to a home after neighbors reported a man chasing a woman down the street and yelling at her. Upon arrival, officers found Joseph J. Motzer, 26, had violated a court protective order that resulted from incidents earlier in the year.

Chief Chad Kenward of the MVPD said that the woman in this case declined to press charges, however police had probable cause to charge him with contempt of court for violating the protective order.

Motzer was placed under arrest and secured in a police cruiser, however he was able to pull away from an officer and ran. He was immediately apprehended. Once at police headquarters, he was placed in a holding cell, however, was able to slip out of cuffs and run from the holding cell. He was once again immediately apprehended. You’ve got to give the guy an “A” for trying.

Motzer was charged with felony criminal contempt of court, two counts of felony second-degree escape, and misdemeanor counts of menacing, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. He was arraigned and held in Orleans County Jail with a $5,000 bond. In two weeks, he likely would have been released under new bail reform laws in New York, courtesy of liberal loon Andrew Cuomo and the New York state legislature.

Motzer has a long history of violence, and this was his fourth domestic violence arrest this year. It makes one wonder what a criminal must do in New York to actually stay in jail.

In March, he was charged with third-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, stalking, menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. Hopefully Motzer does not actually have to kill somebody before justice officials in New York put him in jail.

In September, he was charged with endangering, and in October with assault, trespassing and menacing.

Despite more than two dozen arrests in the last eight years, Motzer has never served a state prison term, only local jail terms. Most of the arrests are for domestic violence incidents.

Finally, in the “they don’t call them criminals because they’re smart” department, we present Andrew N. Kubicki, 32.

On Dec 9, Kubicki went to the Wyoming, NY County Jail to bond out his girlfriend, Shere A Sanders, who was being held on a theft of services rap, along with several charges related to drugs found in her apartment, as well as charges of resisting arrest and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.

Unknown to Kubicki, a warrant was also issued for him for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

When Kubicki showed up at the jail to bond out his girlfriend, Sanders, deputies discovered the warrant that had been issued in the township of Arcade. Oh, and he also had driven to the jail with six suspensions on his driver’s license.

Kubicki was placed under arrest in the jail lobby and was additionally charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

He was released to the Arcade PD, after which he was later turned over to Lackawanna police, who held yet another warrant for him. Sometimes it does not pay to be a nice guy to your girlfriend. 

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