By Carol Tannenhauser
Last Saturday night, Larissa Williams, a homeless woman who often sleeps in the area around 79th Street and Broadway, was arrested for allegedly throwing a block of wood at her homeless companion, hitting a 71-year-old woman in the head instead. Williams was taken into custody within three hours, and charged with a Class D Violent Felony. The victim was taken to a hospital where three staples were required to close the laceration.
On Monday afternoon, Williams was back on the street, released from custody with an “unsecured appearance bond” issued by a judge, according to Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin, commander of the 20th Precinct.
Under an unsecured appearance bond, the accused person promises in writing to show up in court, but puts up no property or cash to guarantee it. The accused generally agrees to pay money if they fail to appear.
The Manhattan DA’s office, with the support of Malin, had requested $10,000 cash bail or a $20,000 bond, but the judge denied the requests, ordering Williams to appear in court this Friday.
The DA’s office declined to comment on “this open and pending case,” but provided the “record made at arraignment”:
The People stated the following, in substance, at the defendant’s 11/18/19 Criminal Court arraignment:
The defendant has 2 previous misdemeanor convictions within the last year, one of which was an Assault 3 conviction that was pled down from Assault 2.
Here, the defendant throws a wooden brick in the direction of an individual that she was in an argument with and strikes a 71-year-old passerby in the head. The complaining witness sustained a laceration on her head that required 3 staples.
The People are requesting $10,000 cash, or a $20,000 insurance company bond, or a $20,000 partially secured surety bond as the least restrictive alternative that will ensure the defendant’s reappearance to face this D violent felony charge.
“Williams has a couple of prior misdemeanors, one involving violence,” Malin told WSR in an email. “I get more complaints about her and [her companion] than anyone else in the precinct: the nonstop noise, disturbing behavior and quality-of-life nuisance they create.”
On Tuesday afternoon, when WSR spoke to Williams — in a doorway in the area — she had been resting beneath a sleeping bag and blankets with her companion. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, when asked about the incident. When told the woman was recovering from her injuries she said “Good.” She nodded when asked if she plans to appear in court.
As for Larissa Williams’ homelessness, Deputy Inspector Malin said, “ There are plenty of outreach programs, and we’ve tried to connect her with them. Goddard Riverside has a case on her. But she always turns down services.”