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'We are now a lawless city': New Yorkers left on edge as random ‘sucker-punch’ assaults known as the 'knock out game' increase

 A series of attacks on random strangers is putting New Yorkers on edge. 

Although assaults were commonplace in the 1980s, a crackdown on the crooks saw crime levels drop making neighborhoods that were previously known as no-go areas, safe to walk around, even at night.

But now, there are fears the city is returning to the bad old days. 

Areas of the city which were generally thought to be safe, such as Midtown Manhattan, Chelsea and the leafy Upper West Side, have all been locations on random assaults in recent months. 

Some are describing the assaults as proof of the return of the so-called 'knockout game.' 

Police in January released surveillance video of a man sucker punching a Catholic deacon inside a Bronx subway station in January. The first of many random attacks of 2021

Police in January released surveillance video of a man sucker punching a Catholic deacon inside a Bronx subway station in January. The first of many random attacks of 2021

In March, a 68-year-old man was left bloodied in a racially motivated attack on the subway

In March, a 68-year-old man was left bloodied in a racially motivated attack on the subway 

Two men were beaten up in the Bronx recently while one woman was knocked to the ground outside an Upper West Side subway station.

'My friend was screaming, ran to a building on CPW (Central Park West) where doorman called police,' an online poster explained in a Facebook group. 

'This is happening all over. I was sucker punched by a disturbed man in Chelsea and left with two black eyes,' a man from Upper West Side responded.

In Washington Heights, a man walked into a store and slashed the nose of a female manager.

The suspect was captured on video and approaching the victim while she was sitting behind the counter. 

A woman was slashed across the face at a store where she is employed as a manager in Manhattan

A woman was slashed across the face at a store where she is employed as a manager in Manhattan

A suspect was seen on a surveillance camera reaching for the 22-year-old manager

A suspect was seen on a surveillance camera reaching for the 22-year-old manager

The suspect manage to run out of the store and escape after slashing the woman

The suspect manage to run out of the store and escape after slashing the woman

Unprovoked attacks are leaving some residents on edge and even looking for self-defense classes. 

'I carry pepper spray because we are now a lawless city and need to police ourselves,' Upper West Side resident Jacqueline Bolier said to DailyMail.com 

'The attackers are generally mentally disturbed people with nothing to lose. There are no mental hospitals and no foot patrols taking place by police.' 

'These incidents aren't happening in front of officers. They are happening due to opportunists taking advantage of the anti-police, anti-accountability era,' NYPD Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice, founder of Blue Lives Matter NYC told The New York Post.

'It is a dangerous time to be out and about strolling in New York City. The combination of criminals and mentally ill individuals roaming the streets equals disaster waiting to happen.

'The city needs to get back to old-school policing … high visibility foot posts and patrol,' he said.  

 Similar fears were echoed by retired NYPD sergeant Joseph Giacalone.

'It might be the power of social media that makes the perception that it's happening everywhere, but it is a real concern that shouldn't be taken lightly.' 

In March, a 65-year-old woman was pushed to floor and kicked in the head by an unidentified passer-by during the vicious daylight attack

In March, a 65-year-old woman was pushed to floor and kicked in the head by an unidentified passer-by during the vicious daylight attack

The suspect was also caught clearly on surveillance camera as he walked away from the scene

The suspect was also caught clearly on surveillance camera as he walked away from the scene

In March, an Asian woman was knocked to the ground and viciously beaten on her way to church in Manhattan. 

The video shows the victim, 65, being pushed to floor and kicked in the head by an unidentified passer-by during the vicious daylight attack.

She had been walking towards the man in the moments before he attacked her. He reportedly told her: 'F*** you, you don't belong here.' 

The suspect stomped on her head and face at least three times.

Last month, a man was arrested and charged with an assault on a 68-year-old man Asian man on the subway, accused of shouting racial insults.

The suspect had been arrested nine times before.

Another Asian man, 66, was also punched in the face in an apparent random attack.

In that incident, an unknown man believed to be homeless approached the victim, began yelling at him and then struck him in the face with a closed fist.  

It comes amid national outcry over anti-Asian violence, which has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last month, the NYPD revealed that it had recorded a 1,300 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic. 

Many activists blame the antagonism toward Asians on former president Donald Trump, who frequently called COVID-19 the 'China virus'.     

The data shows crime in the city increasing from recent years

The data shows crime in the city increasing from recent years

The NYPD announced it was deploying plainclothes officers as part of their Asian Hate Crime Task Force to help tackle the recent uptick.

The department reported that New York City alone has at least 35 anti-Asian hate crime reports since January, compared to the 28 in all of 2020.

Crime does appears to be increasing in New York City as more and more people exit various stages of lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic. 

So far this year, shooting incidents in NYC are up 57 percent from the same period last year. Murders are up 20 percent.

NYPD crime data for March showed overall crime went up 2.4 percent compared with the same time last year. But shootings skyrocketed year-over-year, increasing 77 percent, and gun arrests jumped 67 percent from last March. 

Police unions have blamed policy changes such as bail reform, which eliminated cash bail for many crimes, and last year's move to cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion. 

Demonstrators attend the Rally Against Hate to protest the recent violence against the Asian American community at Columbus Park Rally Against Hate in New York in March

Demonstrators attend the Rally Against Hate to protest the recent violence against the Asian American community at Columbus Park Rally Against Hate in New York in March

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like Paul Kersey needs to come out of retirement!

    ReplyDelete