Looters and “serial robbers” have been roaming the streets of New York City, causing damage to businesses and harm to people. More than 70 of the repeat criminals have been arrested multiple times in the last six months for armed robberies and muggings, and many suspect New York’s reformed bail policy is to blame.
One teenager, Anderson Ortiz, who has been arrested three times in 2020 alone following his arrests in Queens and Brooklyn, went on to violently mug an elderly Asian couple earlier this year, according to police and court records, the New York Post reports.
Ortiz, 19, attacked the 63-year-old male from behind as he walked along 60th Street near Parkway, Brooklyn. Ortiz punched the man several times in the head during a frenzied and violent attack and stole money from the man's pocket. The elderly man’s 62-year-old-wife intervened as the thugs assaulted her husband. Daisy Saenz, Ortiz’s alleged accomplice pushed her down onto the ground and snatched her purse, according to the criminal complaint.
Ortiz has also been charged with robbing a Myrtle Avenue BP gas station on April 21. Ortiz threatened to shoot the store clerk after putting his hand in his pocket while his accomplice emptied the register, according to prosecutors.
Bail was initially set at $50,000 in total for both accounts by Judge Kim Petersen, but a week later another judge reduced the sum to zero. “There were evidentiary issues with the cases and as a result the bail could not have continued,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Spokesman Oren Yaniv.
Despite having five pending criminal cases, Ortiz is free to walk the streets after being released.
Ortiz’s top charge in two cases is “second-degree robbery aided by another,” which is among two types of “violent” felonies that are not eligible for bail under the reforms.
Anti-reformers have slammed the inclusion of robbery in the reforms.
“The act of committing robbery carries an obvious potential for violence and demonstrates a brazen disregard for the law and well-being of others,” said state Assemblyman William Barclay (R-Oswego), who was a co-sponsor to a bill that successfully rolled back Democrat-driven bail reforms. “Democrats’ misguided bail reform disaster continues to protect career criminals and threaten public safety. Judges are forced to release repeat offenders … Treating robbery as if it’s a minor offense proves how out-of-touch the pro-criminal policies have become in New York.”
Ortiz is just one of 77 suspects that have been arrested three or more times, robbery and violent times, only to be released back onto the streets in the past six months. The New York Post detailed several other cases in their coverage of the ongoing crime in New York City.