Suspect accused of harassing bagel shop customers in police-defunded NYC hits employee with brick

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Police in New York City are searching for a suspect known to be a local panhandler that was caught on camera throwing a brick at a 63-year-old bagel shop employee after the victim asked the suspect to stop harassing customer.

The incident occurred shortly before 8:00 a.m. on September 15th outside of the Kossar’s Bagels, where video captured outside of the shop showed the initial confrontation between the panhandler and the victim.

According to the store manager, the suspect has hung around outside of the shop on previous occasions asking for money, and the manager has even extended kindness in previous instances by giving the man some free bagels.

However, during the September 15th incident, the suspect was reportedly harassing customers for money, which led to the bagel shop’s maintenance worker stepping outside and telling the suspect to leave.

Surveillance video shows the suspect at first wielding a chair over his head, threatening to bash the victim with it. The suspect then ditches the chair and opts to punch the 63-year-old man in his face – knocking the victim on the ground.

The attack then moved to the street, where the victim can be seen trying to defend himself with a stick. The suspect then grabs a brick and throws it at the victim’s face. Authorities say that the victim was later treated for injuries to his nose following the attack.

Carrie Miller, a local who frequents the bagel shop, is familiar with the suspect, saying she’s seen him posted up outside of the shop and panhandling:

“He sits there and from the chair he asks people to give him money. I was wondering about the owners and why they weren’t doing something about it.”

Another local resident, Nancy Crampton, says she feels like there has ben an uptick in these sorts of crimes taking place across the city:

“As someone who lives here, I feel like there is an escalation of these type of events across the city since the pandemic.”

Police are actively searching for the suspect, warning locals to not approach the man if they see him as he could lash out violently with little warning. Instead, if spotted, police are urging the public to call police immediately.

Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect’s whereabouts is urged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

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Man on parole arrested for slashing boy during bodega robbery in police-defunded New York City

(Originally published September17th, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – According to reports, a 57-year-old man who is on parole for a previous robbery conviction was arrested earlier in September for allegedly robbing a bodega in Manhattan of various items and slashing an 11-year-old boy during the robbery.

The incident happened on September 8th at approximately 12:15 p.m., with police saying that a pair of shoplifters had entered the bodega located at 23 Avenue D and tried making off with a variety of undisclosed items.

Both of the suspects were confronted by a 27-year-old store clerk, who also had his 11-year-old nephew inside of the store with him that day when the incident occurred.

One of the suspects, identified as 57-year-old Hector Diaz, allegedly slashed the 11-year-old boy’s right hand during the confrontation before fleeing down Avenue D and then heading north toward East 4th Street.

The 11-year-old boy was reportedly transported to Bellevue Hospital for minor injuries and was noted at the time that he is expected to be fine.

Prior to any arrests taking place, a photo of one of the suspects was shared by authorities – which they say later turned out to be Diaz.

The NYPD’s Warrant Squad arrested Diaz at his Manhattan home on September 15th, having since been charged with robbery with a dangerous instrument. Diaz apparently hosts quite the lengthy criminal record, as he reportedly has 24 prior arrests dating as far back as 1987.

Furthermore, Diaz is still on parole for a previous robbery conviction, which that parole remains in effect until December of 2022.

The incident at the bodega at 23 Avenue D comes roughly one month after a similar slashing that transpired at another bodega in the Bronx borough.

Authorities say that on August 16th, an unidentified male suspect entered the bodega on East 163rd Street bodega near Simpson Street and began attacking a 28-year-old clerk. The suspect reportedly beat the victim with his fists and also a glass bottle, slicing the victim’s nose and left wrist.

Police say that the suspect fled in an unknown direction after the attack. As for the victim, he was rushed over to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.

No arrests have been made in the August 16th attack. Anyone with information on the incident or the identity of the suspect are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or visit crimestoppers.nypdonline.org to submit a tip online.

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Man attacked at ATM by hatchet-wielding man in police-defunded New York City

(Originally published August 18th, 2021)

MANHATTAN, NY – A 50-year old man was simply trying to get some cash out of an ATM in a JPMorgan Chase bank ATM vestibule.

It was a little after 5 pm last Sunday in New York City’s Financial District. As he paid attention to the transaction he was attempting on the screen, another man walked around the inside of the vestibule before approaching his victim. 

He introduced himself to the unsuspecting man by swinging the hatchet at his leg, striking him and drawing blood. What happened over the next :50 seconds was hard to watch. 

The assailant followed his victim around the lobby, swinging his weapon and pushing the man to the ground. As the video progresses, you can see the victim, who attempted to fight off his attacker, bleeding profusely from the head. 

According to the Daily Mail, he was struck once in the leg and three times in the head. The assailant then smashed the screens of the ATMs before he dropped the hatchet and fled the scene. 

“It’s crazy,” a witness said. “People were shouting and we saw the guy laying down – a lot of blood.”  

EMS arrived on the scene and treated the man before transporting him the Bellevue Hospital where he is in stable condition. 

The New York Post conducted a bedside interview.  

“‘A man was there with a hatchet and [hit] my head…and my leg,’ said the victim in Spanish.”

Police say that the attack appeared to be unprovoked and the victim did not know the attacker. They believed that the attack was random.

A little before 10 pm on Tuesday evening, a man matching the suspect’s description was smashing windows.

Police intervened in the vandalism and escorted him to Bellevue for psychological evaluation. As of this writing, no arrests had been made and it was unclear of the suspect and the 37-year old individual apprehended by police were the same man. 

It makes you wonder how long this attack would have lasted and how extensive the victim’s injuries would have been had New York City allowed constitutional carry or greater access to concealed carry permits. 

This is a developing story. Law Enforcement Today will provide updates as they become available. 

But, it is another act of violence in a city that has seen violent crime rise. 

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New York governor orders immediate parole and release of nearly 200 Rikers inmates because of staffing shortage

(Originally published September 20th, 2021)

Editor note: Law Enforcement Today is proud to announce the launch of a nationwide campaign to “re-fund the police” – and we’re asking every American to help get in the fight.  To learn more about how you can support law enforcement, click here.

NEW YORK, NY- Who knew New York could go from bad to just as bad after the resignation of touchy-feely Andrew Cuomo last month? From all appearances, the state’s new governor may be just as useless as her predecessor.

One of her first actions as governor will be to release 191 detainees from Rikers Island, which has been severely understaffed for months, with some units completely lacking guards, according to rt.com.

Under her “Less is More Act,” individuals who are subject to “technical parole violations” who would normally be locked back up would no longer be incarcerated. Gov. Kathy Hochul says that this is one of the primary contributors to Rikers being overcrowded.

“Parole in this state often becomes a ticket back into jail because of technical violations,” she said.

She explained this could be as simple as “someone caught with a drink or using a substance or missing an appointment.”

While the law doesn’t go into effect until next March, Hochul ordered the parole board to immediately release the 191 individuals on Friday, while moving some 200 Rikers inmates to state prisons over the next week or so hoping it will relieve some of the overcrowding.

Despite those measures, Rikers will remain understaffed at a critical level.

Reports indicate that around 2,700 employees which comprises one-third of the entire staff are unable to work on any given day. The result of this has been that some units are actually being run by the inmates themselves, which not surprisingly has led to an explosion of violence.

When guards do work, they are subject to work long hours, usually double or even triple shifts Since December, the jail has seen 10 inmate suicides, and as mentioned above some units are being run by the criminal inhabitants.

Employees have described the facility as “filthy,” with bodily fluids covering the walls and floors. Correction Department Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi was taken aback by conditions at the jail, stating during a city council hearing last week that the situation was “worse than I imagined.”

Coronavirus is also playing a part in conditions inside the jail, with a reported 65 cases being identified last week. Because of overcrowding in the jail, it is impossible to isolate or quarantine suspected cases, Board of Correction member Dr. Robert Cohen told city council members during the hearing.

Hochul has made a commitment to reduce overcrowding in New York jails and prisons and said that other inmates met “that threshold” of having technically violated parole without committing a separate offense.

The New York Post reported that Hochul called the situation at Rikers “deeply disturbing,” which led her to act ahead of the March 1 implementation of the new law. Hochul claimed the inmates she is ordering released “have served their sentences” for the crimes they committed and “do not need to be incarcerated.”

She said that some 65 percent of the parolees returned back to prison had only committed “a very technical violation” and noted that several Southern states “are ahead of us on this.’

“New York incarcerates more people for parole violations than anywhere in the country,” Hochul said. “That is a point of shame, and it needs to be fixed.”

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