Repeat offender sucker-punches woman on at New York subway station, gets released hours later

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – On the night of Tuesday, December 29, 68-year-old Rosetta Trombetta was on her homeward commute from her job as a clothing designer. 

As she waited at the 34th Street – Herald Square station, reading her Kindle, John Chappelle, 64, suddenly punched her in the face.

According to Bob Edis, Trombetta’s boyfriend, Chappelle broke his victim’s nose, as well as her glasses.  

Trombetta’s mask was filled with blood, she had whiplash, her face was swollen, and when she was taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for her injuries, she was unable to see well enough to sign the admission papers.

Also according to Edis, Trombetta avoided a second assault by Chappelle because she loudly screamed for help, causing Chappelle to leave.

Police caught up to Chappelle a short time later at 34th Street near Sixth Avenue and he was charged with assault.  However, Chappelle was merely issued a desk appearance ticket, and he was subsequently released.

Edis told the New York Post:

“[An officer] said, ‘We caught him. He’ll be out tomorrow morning.’ 

“It’s infuriating. He’s mentally ill, obviously, and he should be put someplace to get some kind of help. I don’t want him to go to the electric chair, I want him to get help.”

According to the Post, Chappelle, who is homeless, has a history of 77 prior arrests.  His offenses include “marijuana possession, reckless endangerment, assault, petit larceny and turnstile jumping.”

So much for bail reform in New York City.

Part of those “reform” measures was an expansion of Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) criteria.

According to a July, 2020 report on bail reform from the NYPD, which addressed increasing crime in the city, 14.2% of recipients of a DAT were re-arrested at least once, compared to 9.9% in 2019.

27% of those rearrests were for the seven major felonies (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of a vehicle).

Sadly for New Yorkers, these statistics speak for unacceptable odds that a 78-time offender like Chappelle, who was issued a DAT, will reoffend after his early release.

This assault has so unnerved Trombetta and Edis that they are looking to flee the city.

Edis told the Post:

“It’s not safe anymore. It got crazy.” 

He added:

“All of our friends have moved. My sister moved to Connecticut. She loves it there. We have friends who moved to Florida. 

“It just got crazy here. We had a burglar for the first time two, three months ago. He came off the roof into my neighbor’s apartment through the fire escape.”

Edis and Trombetta are not the only ones who, after a random subway attack, have to live with the knowledge that a violent suspect has been released.

According to the New York Post, Benny Watts, 50, is allegedly responsible for assaulting four women at the Morgan Avenue L train stop between November 17 and December 28, 2020.

On November 17, a 24-year-old woman suffered cuts to her forehead and nose after an attacker approached her from behind and punched her.

On December 11, another 24-year-old female victim was punched from behind on the left side of her face.

On December 26, a 26-year-old woman was punched in the left eye.

Then on December 28, an assailant attacked a 32-year-old woman, punching her in the face and “causing a laceration, bruising and swelling.”

The victim of December 26 was able to identify Watts as her assailant, and police arrested him.  Watts was initially charged with four counts of assault.  

However, since the remaining three victims could not positively identify him, he was only charged with assault in the third degree for his attack on December 26.

Such a charge is not eligible for bail, so Watts was released after a virtual arraignment.

It appears that the NYPD is expecting Watts to reoffend, as two officers have been seen patrolling the Morgan Avenue station since Watts’ arrest and release.

When they were asked about Watts’ alleged subway attacks, the officers reportedly responded:

“That’s why we’re here.”

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New York City ‘bail reform’: Bronx judge releases teen murder suspect – two separate times

BRONX, NY- Bail reform, COVID-19 releases and a number of other things have seriously flawed the justice system in recent years. 

It has come to light that a Bronx judge released a teen murder suspect, not once but twice, allowing him to harm others again. 

Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle freed 16-year-old Jordon Benjamin without bail after allegedly stabbing a young woman, Amya Hick in the stomach. 

The worst part about Benjamin’s most recent crime however, is he was set free despite two pending cases of violent crimes against him. 

The first case against Benjamin is from Christmas Eve 2019. Sixty-year-old Juan Fresnada was walking with his roommate when police said the pair were assaulted by a group of teenagers, one of those teen’s allegedly including Benjamin, The New York Post reported.

Video of the brutal attack shows that the teens brutally stomped on Fresnada and beat him with a garbage can. He died from his injuries three days later at Lincoln Hospital, police said.

That vicious beating, and the loss of life, was all for $1, which is what the teens made off with.

Benjamin was initially confined to the Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brooklyn on a manslaughter charge but freed by Boyle in March due to concerns over the coronavirus behind bars, The New York Post reported.

Then on December 14th, Benjamin allegedly slashed Hicks on Intervale Avenue in the Bronx, not far from his Hall Place home.

He was arrested three days later and charged with felony assault and attempted assault, and misdemeanor weapons possession, but was again released by Judge Boyle without bail at his arraignment.

Benjamin’s alleged victims and their families are now furious over the fact that this extremely dangerous teen is being allowed to walk the streets despite his repeated heinous crimes.

On Monday, December 28th, 33-year-old Tynisha Smith, the mother of Amya Hicks said:

“This is crazy, we thought he was still in jail,”  

She continued:

“She doesn’t have an order of protection or nothing. He’s local. He hangs out two blocks away.”

She went on to say:

“Nobody called us, I’m going to ring her now and tell her to get home. They didn’t give us a heads up or nothing. This is ridiculous. He can hurt another person.”

According to Smith, her daughter spent two days in the hospital and underwent surgery to treat her wounds.

Also on Monday, 30-year-old Bayron Caceres, the roommate of Benjamin’s alleged first victim, Juan Fresnada, said when he heard the news of Benjamin’s freedom:

“I’m shocked,”  

He went on to say:

“It’s injustice,”

Caceres continued:

“I thought he was on trial. I thought he was in jail. It is unbelievable to me, the injustice.”

According to the post, Fresnada’s building is just steps away from where Benjamin and his friends regularly hang out.

A neighbor told The Post:

“I can’t believe they let him back out here,”

The neighbor went on to say:

“Now I gotta keep looking back over my shoulder.”

In response to the backlash that Boyle is now receiving, the state Office of Court Administration released a statement that said Boyle followed the law.

OCA spokesman Lucian Chalfen said in the statement:

“Judges follow the law and the law clearly states that the least restrictive alternative should be the preeminent driver in bail consideration,” 

Chalfen continued in the statement:

“Once released on his manslaughter charge, this defendant returned to court for all subsequent appearances, and the expectation is that that will continue with the new charge,” 

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