UPDATED: Man Charged With Assaulting Two Women Thursday Morning in Apparently Random Attacks

By Joy Bergmann

A 28-year-old man allegedly committed two seemingly random, unprovoked attacks against two women Thursday morning near 79th and Broadway, according to NYPD and a witness who talked to WSR.

At 9:20 a.m., the man allegedly came up from behind a 50-year-old woman walking her dog near the northwest corner of the intersection, before slamming his arms into her and punching her in the face, police said. She was transported to Mount Sinai Morningside [St. Lukes] Hospital in stable condition.

The man then fled northbound to 80th and Broadway, where at 9:22 a.m., he allegedly hit another woman in the face, police said. She was also transported to Mount Sinai; her age was not yet available, police said.

Police identified the man as Darrell Johnson and said they believe he is homeless. He is being charged with assault in both incidents, NYPD said.

Witness Melissa Doyle, who’s lived on West 79th Street for 30 years, saw the first attack as she was walking to the downtown #1 subway station at 79th and Broadway. “That corner is just a nightmare,” said Doyle.

As she was making her way across Broadway on the north side of 79th, Doyle saw the man allegedly raise both arms high and then swing them violently down. He then ran up Broadway, with “dilated eyes” and a “gleeful” expression. “He looked like the Joker in Batman,” Doyle said.

Meanwhile, the victim was collapsed on the sidewalk, not moving, with her dog staying near, Doyle said. “There was blood everywhere, her face swole up like a balloon, like a mango was in there.”

Bystanders leaped to assist. A bus driver and others called 911; teachers from the nearby church brought ice packs to soothe the woman’s injuries, Doyle said. Eventually, the victim came to, but was very disoriented.

Doyle was also left feeling shook up. “I’ve never seen someone who was just minding their own business be so violently attacked…especially at 9 a.m. in broad daylight,” she said. “It’s terrifying.”

UPDATE 12/3/21:  Following publication, we heard from a witness to the second attack, a man we’ll call Mike, who’s lived on the UWS for 18 years.

Mike was also headed to the subway when he saw the suspect running toward him. After stepping out of the way, Mike says he saw the suspect allegedly throw “a flying punch” at a woman who’d been standing at the coffee cart on the southwest corner of Broadway and 80th Street. “I heard the sickening sound of his hand hitting her head,” Mike told WSR. Then, silence. Then, wailing from the woman.

Mike pursued the suspect as he took off toward West End Avenue, calling 911 and taking pictures and video along the way. “I was yelling ‘stop that guy! Stop that guy!'” Mike says another local man also assisted in the chase. At one point, the suspect wheeled around and allegedly threatened Mike. Mike flagged down a passing patrol car and the arrest was made soon thereafter.

Mike returned to the coffee cart corner to let the victim know the suspect had been caught. “I told her, he’s been arrested. And she said, ‘it’s OK.’ But, it’s not OK,” says Mike.

According to the NYPD, Johnson has 14 prior arrests, mostly for assault and petit larceny. Mike is concerned that Johnson may be granted pre-trial release. “I’m looking around for this guy right now.”

NEWS | 99 comments | permalink
    1. Crankypants says:

      I hope our new Mayor can clean up this city. DeBlasio’s administration has turned this into Zombieland.

      • Dan says:

        HE WAS RELEASED.

        And this 28-year-old violent homeless man is back at the church at W. 79th St. and Broadway.

        Please call the 20th precinct, our new incoming city Council woman, and the new mayor to let them know that the situation at the church is unacceptable with open drug dealing.

    2. SadforUWS says:

      I hope the new mayor will address this problem.

    3. Mr. Concerned says:

      We have been far too tolerant for far too long. The UWS has way too many shelters and it is clearly impacting quality of life. While the perpetrator was likely mentally ill, that is of little comfort to the victims.

      As a neighborhood, we need to band together and insist on safe streets, more police, less tolerance for crime and NO tolerance for drug use.

      • Dani says:

        Does the UWS have more shelters than any other neighborhood in Manhattan?

        • Concerned says:

          Yes, the UWS has more shelters than most NYC neighborhoods. The UWS ranks among the top 10 neighborhoods with most shelters, among more than 50 other NYC districts. As the 2nd densest neighborhood in America – that’s right, America – putting shelters for the mentally ill and drug addicted here is unconscionable. For that population, and for the UWS community.

      • Leon says:

        New York City has too many shelters. I am really not sure why this is our problem. So many of these people have no ties to this city. So why are our tax dollars and resources being used disproportionately to help them in one of the most expensive cities in the country, all while putting our physical well-being at risk?

        And to those who argue that I am not being compassionate, I am actually being a lot more compassionate than you are. Because they can have a much better life elsewhere. Which should be the ultimate goal. And this will leave more resources available to provide meaningful help to those who truly do have ties to New York City and need help.

        • Ellen says:

          If you build it they will come….or they will be sent. Unless they keep these homeless shelter beds filled and support what appears like excess demand overflowing into the streets, how can Homeless Inc demand more facilities and larger budgets. Look how many people are employed or make lots of money off of Homeless Inc? It’s huge business to keep the pipeline full. It’s never about ending homelessness. It’s about providing services and housing. It’s never about getting them employed and self sustaining? It’s about expanding mental health. Listen to the words. This will never end if they have anything to say about it.

      • Basta says:

        Who isn’t a little mentally ill? It is no excuse. If a person can’t function without hurting others they should not be allowed to roam freely. We need to stop deflecting accountability for bad behavior.

      • dc says:

        Many are trying, including the Safer Streets goup, but our elected officials remain feeble in their responses.

    4. John says:

      And to think, we can’t even carry pepper spray. I guess politicians believe 50-yo women should know MMA grappling techniques.

      • EdNY says:

        Not so. It is apparently legal to carry pepper spray in NYC for defensive purposes. There are restrictions on where it can be purchased.

      • David S says:

        “And to think, we can’t even carry pepper spray”

        Sure we can? There’s no law against carrying pepper spray in NYC. There _is_ a law against purchasing it by mail or bringing it in from out of state, but if you go into a local store and buy it in person, it’ completely legal to carry it.

      • EdNY says:

        It is legal to carry pocket-sized canisters of pepper spray in NY State for self-defensive purposes. There are restrictions on where they can be purchased, however.

      • Elaine H Toth says:

        Yes you can carry pepper spray.

      • Two City Foodies says:

        You can definitely carry pepper spray. It just has to be purchased in NY State. You can’t just order from Amazon to ship to NY.

      • Dudley D says:

        No pepper spray or karate skill is going to work when a guy double your size comes up from behind with no warning.

    5. Cryptome says:

      Yes, this is a scary corner and should be approached with caution especially in front of the church at northwest corner. Creeps loll there as if poised to pounce on the unwary heading into the subway. NYPD should station a car there to prevent increasing harassment and violence.

      • Mary says:

        The homeless have arranged a hand-me-down program on that same corner, which explains why you’ll see odds and ends sometimes laid out like a little shop…blocking the entrance to the subway for the hundreds of people who need to use it. Nice? I’m not sure that’s the right place for it. The police see it and do…nothing? The community walks by and just….accepts it? There’s no one running the show here, is the problem.

      • Lisa says:

        This did not used to be a scary corner ! I refuse to accept this as our new normal ! Wish we had not re-elected Gale Brewer.

    6. Charles says:

      On the medium of that corner is a group of homeless people hanging all day, everyday, harassing people for money. When I complained to a police officer about this recently, he replied “I cannot do anything about it, unless they threaten you”. I have been afraid to use that crosswalk.
      So that’s what happened now! Tooooo late!

      • Vito says:

        The men who hang out on the church steps and then collect soda cans on the Broadway medians—sleep inside the church on 82nd. Many local churches have allowed homeless to sleep inside. Many operate pantries which further attracts homeless. Some are operating pantries within 1 block of each other. This community, one homeless has said, may have more pantries than anywhere else in the city. Did the community agree to being the Mecca for food pantry? Did the community agree to having the largest pantry parked on 86th, a veritable drive by where ppl come in vans at times and pick up Costco sized crates of fruits and vegetables to feed an army? The unfortunate negative consequences of this = attracting mentally ill homeless people who then hurt our residents as HAPPENED TODAY. This cannot be accepted Bc compassion to 1 group can’t mean violence to another. The community has too many shelters and too many homeless people. The community has tolerated too much disorder on the 79th church steps for too long and the church leadership has been informed and AGREES so why isn’t there any enforcement. The police and Goddard don’t seem effectual based on the fact that we call and nada happens. Where does this leave us, please tell me? Don’t members of CB7 or Helens office pass this chaos every day?? I myself have done some investigating and can map every pantry and shelter. It’s over saturated.

    7. Charles says:

      And, also the Police KNOW them, one even by name, and talk to them casually.

      • Bob says:

        I want the police to know and talk to people, including people who might either (a) commit a crime at some point or (b) witness a crime (by virtue of sitting out in public). That’s just good policing.

        If some nameless cop asks the guy on the corner what he saw, he didn’t see nothin’. But if Greg, the cop who bought him a coffee last Friday, asks… well, then he might be a bit more forthcoming.

        And if the guy on the corner has a tendency to have psychotic breaks and get violent, and Officer Greg knows that because he’s talked to the guy casually before, then if there’s a report that some guy has had a psychotic break and gotten violent… well, Officer Greg knows where to start looking. (And maybe even can prevent it in the first place.)

      • Andy says:

        Man, that’s crazy that the police know them and talk to them as if they were people. Can’t have that!

    8. Biffmeister says:

      The police should never be able to say: “There’s nothing we can do about it”. We need to elect politicians and District Attorneys who believe in the broken glass policy, stop and frisk, cash bail and actually prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We need to re-criminalize, not de-criminalize. The latter has resulted in the current state of affairs in NYC and many other big cities throughout the country. Cousins, Heastie and Hochul are the main culprits in NYS because they stubbornly refuse to roll-back the no cash bail laws, among other travesties.

    9. Common sense says:

      Lock him up and throw away the key.

    10. yoma43 says:

      We have no noticeable police presence in the West 70s anymore… unless there’s a parade.

    11. Marianne says:

      This is so horrible. These poor women to be attacked by a monster without warning. Any victim of such violent assault not only might have lingering physical pain but PTSD. I’m praying the perpetrator is not going to be a catch and release. Scary and horrific. I have high hopes with Eric Adams.

    12. maria says:

      Theres being empathetic and then theres condoning violent behavior. When will enough be enough.

    13. Thomas says:

      Thanks for the report WSR. it’d be very informative if you could follow up with newly elected council member Brewer to know what her plans are to restore safety on the UWS. She seems busy running for Speaker. Asking assembly member Linda Rosenthal abt her plans would be great too, she never talks abt safety issues.

      • Rob G. says:

        Gale Brewer “restore” safety for the UWS? That’s a joke, right? It was under her watch as CM and BP that we saw an increase in the number of homeless shelters and mentally ill people roaming the streets. She’s too busy fighting developers to care about safety.

    14. Natasha says:

      Keep voting the way you do, neighbors, and there will just be more of this. Gale Brewer doesn’t care, Eric Adams doesn’t care.

      Curtis Sliwa DOES care, but no D after his name, right?

      You’re idiots.

      Wake. Up.

      • Carlos says:

        I am a loyal Democrat but agree that Sliwa actually had a lot of good ideas. Unfortunately, they were packaged in Curtis Sliwa. If the Republicans had found a respectable, well-packaged person rather than a cat-loving con man with a weird red hat to espouse these ideas, they might have had more of a chance.

        That being said, though I don’t love Adams, I am very thankful that we have him rather than Wiley, as that would have truly been a nightmare – she likely would have been baking cookies and hosting rallies to support this criminal.

        • Lisa says:

          “Unfortunately they were packaged in Curtis Sliwa” very witty, Carlos 🙂

        • Jen says:

          Completely agree.
          And look who Adams picked for a DA? Rotating door for criminals will continue. And he is looking for a police head not based on qualifications but on race and gender.

          • Carlos says:

            Adams didn’t pick the DA. He was elected separately. I agree that he is going to be way too lenient. Though amazingly, there were other candidates who were even worse.

      • upper west side girly says:

        Totally agree Natasha! When will people figure this out??

      • Lisa says:

        We could have had Maria Danzilo but nooooo people just love Gale.

    15. Joan says:

      Could the West Side Rag please do a follow up about this case. I would like to know if this man is let out on bail or put in jail. Also what is the status of the victims. What are the police doing if anything to be more of a presence in the area. I am tired of seeing police hanging out in large groups looking at their cell phones and schmoozing. How about actually walking a beat?

    16. Glen says:

      This terrible story of course pales to the news out of Morningside Heights this morning, two random stabbings, one of which killed a Columbia grad student. I arrived on the UWS in early 1963 and it is truly stunning how far and fast this city has fallen under the DeBlasio administration … a mayor who ADDED 32,000 workers to the city payroll. I get a sense of deja vu all over again; the comparison of the city today to the downward spiral (that started to pick up speed in the mid 1960s) cannot be dismissed. In many respects it is even worse. The mentally ill violent homeless were not roaming the streets back then. I wish Mayor elect Adams the best, but if he turns out to be no more competent than DeBlasio I don’t see a bright future.

      • mkmuws says:

        It doesn’t pale. At all. Just different details.

        • Fed up says:

          I agree, we have to stop minimizing crime in the neighborhood by comparing it to something that happened elsewhere. Please stop the badge of honor about tolerating crime. Most people moved to this neighborhood because it was fairly safe. Our neighborhood didn’t devolve organically. People who seem to have a track record for causing harm and disruption are being moved in who are causing problems and the mechanisms we used to have in place are no longer working. Namely the police, the justice system, and our elected policy makers who seem part of the problem here.

    17. Adam says:

      Between this and last night’s stabbings we are living in a very dangerous place. Way to go bail reform!!

      • mkmuws says:

        Yes, everything was going so well before bail reform. If you want results, it’s the big picture not anecdotes. And everybody seems to forget what a huge factor the pandemic has been as well. There are many factors, mental illness at the top of the list. It’s complicated, and oversimplifying doesn’t do any of it justice or help.

        • SadforUWS says:

          Can you explain how the pandemic has lead to this deterioration.

          • Paul says:

            The question whether the pandemic led to the spike in violence is a valid one, but it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the two are connected.
            The best indicator is the fact that this is a nationwide phenomenon. Violence rose everywhere in the country, starting with the relaxation of lockdowns in 2020. It’s not local.

          • Lisa says:

            What led to this deterioration was the looting and property damage that came along with the Black Lives Matter protests. When the police were criticized for how they handled the protesters, they stopped doing anything. Now we are here.

    18. Barbara Webber says:

      I left NYC a few months ago. I’m 72 years old, and I’ve lived in NYC for my entire life. I’m now in South Carolina, even though my heart will always be in NYC and the Upper West Side.
      I left because of three major reasons.
      1. The area is not safe
      2. The people elected want to do more for the criminals than the hardworking citizens.
      3. The people that live in the area complain in these posts but it’s not enough for actual change.

      How many times has this happened? Politicians care about getting elected. They want votes. The large majority of people on the UWS are more focused on the rights of the lawbreakers than the protection of its hardworking citizens. The politicians pander to what the majority wants. It’s a shame. I read these posts and I think “maybe some change will happen!” but it won’t.

      Maria Danzilo was a good choice, but she didn’t win. As upset as everyone seemed to be, Gale Brewer for re-elected. Where is Gale? She’s everywhere but where we need her. And it just gets worse. Alan Bragg? He’s all about helping criminals. It’s his entire platform! And people come out and vote for him.
      There’s really no change until it gets so bad, and people actually want change. And I wasn’t willing to wait any longer. And it sucks because NYC is still my favorite place in the world, and next time I come up it will be for a nice weekend, and then I’ll go back to my new home. It’s not nearly as exciting. The theater here is really lacking, the people are a bit too conservative for me, but I feel very safe. Plus, taxes are a lot lower! It’s mostly the safety though.
      For all the people reading this and thinking “NYC was way worse on the 70’s!!!” you’re just part of the problem.

      • Jen says:

        “ The people elected want to do more for the criminals than the hardworking citizens.” Can’t agree more. I used to be a dem. Not anymore. But the majority of UWS are so in the tank for the Dems they will vote just for anybody. I can’t even tell most of my friends and neighbors that I preferred Sliwa despite him showing up with the car at the polls. Eccentric is one thing. Still better than pro-criminal.

    19. Mark Moore says:

      Another incident last night. Random Columbia student stabbed to death at 110 and Columbus.

      Someone call Chirlane McCray and ask her if we’re “thriving” yet.

    20. Juan says:

      Thank you for the great reporting of this unfortunate situation.

      Could WSR follow this story through as a case study? Let us know how the whole criminal process plays out with a timeline, bail process, trial, etc. (I am not a lawyer so have little understanding of how this works)?

      Many of us are very frustrated by the process that seems to put criminals back on the street, both with bail when they are awaiting trial and after the trial, so I am curious to know what happens in this case, which seems to be a pretty clear case of someone being guilty of a non-trivial offense.

      Thank you.

      • Tipping Point says:

        I second Juan’s suggestion that the WSR follow up on this after a few weeks, a month, etc… to see how the criminal justice system actually works in NYC.

      • Joy Bergmann says:

        Will do my best, but please know: WSR regularly seeks info from the courts, the DA, and other gov officials who choose not to answer even the most basic questions. Thanks for reading.

        • Juan says:

          Thank you for the helpful follow-up in the other posting – greatly appreciated. Please continue to try to follow up on this.

    21. Ted says:

      We lived at 79th and Riverside for 30 years. For the last several years it has gotten more and more dicey. One night we were walking down the hill on 79th towards riverside and an intoxicated/impaired man was behind us walking slightly faster than we were. He was raving and swearing and as we moved out of the way to let him pass he started becoming confrontational. He was holding a pack of beer bottles and rolling one in his handing like he was deciding whether to throw it.

      Thankfully, de-escalation techniques worked and he moved on without violence but it was unpleasant.

    22. Tipping Point says:

      I voted for Eric Adams precisely because of his commitment to address these kind of issues, but I’m afraid his hands are going to be tied because most of my fellow UWSers voted for Alvin Bragg for DA. Did anyone bother to read his “Day 1 Memo”?

      No one goes to jail unless it’s murder or as Bragg puts it: “Presumption of non-incarceration. Non-incarceration is the outcome for every case except those with charges of homicide or the death of a victim…”

      Never pay an MTA fare again or as he puts it: “The following charges will not be prosecuted under any circumstances: b. Fare evasion (turnstile jumping), PL §165.15”

      Don’t make your court date, we understand you were busy or distracted: “If individuals miss court dates, investigate the reason for the violation or failure to appear in court.”

      If you think I’m making this up, read it for yourself:

      https://www.alvinbragg.com/day-1

      • Jen says:

        God detailed comment about our new DA. People, are you looking at the big picture while voting? Everyone complains incessantly about crime but votes for Bragg?

      • dc says:

        This is why I did not vote for him. I knew, though, that my vote for the other guy wouldn’t make much difference when so many just vote D down the ticket.

        • Carlos says:

          The two best candidates were actually women. Weinstein was at least somewhat better and Liz Crotty who was much stricter than any of them who I voted for – unfortunately she did not get a lot of support.

    23. Sid says:

      I don’t get why every person needs to qualify their statement with how long they’ve lived on the UWS.

      • Lisa says:

        Because if they don’t they’ll get criticized.

      • Read between the lines says:

        Because there is this unspoken riff between old UWSers who seem to have grit because “they lived it and are the soul of UWS” and the newcomer interlopers who arrived here and bought the…dare I say…..luxury coops and condos….so if they complain about crime they are told, “Then just leave or go to your Hamptons house.” There is also an economic battle happening here that nobody discusses.

    24. Nancy says:

      Thank you to “Mike” and the other person for chasing the assailant. You put your own safety at risk to catch this guy.

    25. Mark says:

      Pretty sure I know who this guy is bc he chased me once when I was jogging. Honestly, something needs to be done about dangerous homeless and mentally ill people. This was arrest #15 for this guy. Are we going to just wait until he stabs someone or attacks them with an ax? Does someone have to be killed or severely maimed before anything is done? And yet, it’s illegal in NYC to carry almost anything for self defense. Only watered down pepper spray is allowed & then not on the subway.

    26. Janice says:

      Mike, whoever you are, you’re a hero.

      And I hope this creep isn’t granted pre-trial release.

    27. mkmuws says:

      Great job by “Mike”. Be careful out there.

    28. Ellen Shell says:

      Wow, Mike is a neighborhood hero and deserves a key to the UWS. He demonstrated a level of bravery we don’t often see these days. This is what community looks like. A real superhero.

      Thank you Mike!!!!!

    29. Elliot says:

      It seems there is an escalation of incidents. We need more police presence on the streets and more stringent control of criminals with prior assault records. Very scary.

    30. Gigi says:

      Is there a photo available of this person? He might be released tomorrow and attack again!

    31. Denise says:

      Interesting how all the complaining is about “politicians” just letting crime run amok. So little finger pointing at the police cabal whose actual job is policing the streets. Not all is so cut and dry and they’re is plenty of blame to go around, but the days of Bloomberg and Giuliani were the most racist policing policies and were actually intended to be so. So while all of this recent violence is awful let’s not knee jerk back to those “good ole” days of stop and frisk. They weren’t all that great.

    32. Spock says:

      How soon do you suppose he’ll be released without bail on his own recognizance? Two hours after booking?

      • Greg says:

        Darrell Johnson was released on his own recognizance this morning. Just look at New York State’s “WebCrims” site. The site also details that Johnson was also arraigned on separate, but very similar, charges of assault from August 2020, for which there was a warrant for his arrest. This man put two women in the hospital and has been charged only with misdemeanor assault. It’s only a matter of time before Johnson hurts or kills someone else. Shame on the New York State Legislature, on the District Attorney and shame on anyone voting for such irresponsible people. Absolutely disgusting.

        • Leon says:

          How is this possible? The man physically attacked people and is clearly a threat to do so again. He should not be walking the streets. I agree that a kid who steals a pack of gum or hops a turnstile for the first time should not spend months on Rikers awaiting trial. But this is painfully obvious.

          Could a lawyer please explain exactly how this happens and exactly who is most responsible for potentially getting it changed? Thank you.

          • MV says:

            Democratic policies don’t work! Crime is clearly not their priority. DeB is the perfect example of this.

          • TS says:

            I used to be an ADA in Manhattan. Under New York State’s bail reform law, a judge who arraigns the defendant has discretion to set bail only when the prosecution charges certain crimes (unlike in the past when judges generally had full discretion). As shocking as this incident was, the defendant appeared to have committed only third-degree assault (throwing a punch and inflicting physical injury), which is misdemeanor assault. Under the bail reform law, third-degree assault is eligible for discretionary bail only in cases of domestic violence, which this was not. In short, the facts did not appear to support the prosecution charging a more serious crime, and so the judge lacked the discretion – under the bail reform law – to set bail. Hence the defendant back on the street almost immediately. Addressing this kind of situation requires legislation that rolls back (in part or in whole) the bail reform law.

            • Lisa says:

              Why is third degree assault only a misdemeanor? Isn’t that part of the problem? We need to take violence more seriously.

            • Leon says:

              Shouldn’t the number of offenses they have been charged with factor in in addition to the severity of the latest offense? Isn’t that common sense?

              Not blaming you personally – your informed explanation is greatly appreciated – thank you!

        • Tipping Point says:

          Thanks for the post Greg. Indeed I looked up the webpage you recommended and it appears that Mr. Johnson was released on Dec 3, 2021. I’d really like to understand the rationale for this as well: it would make a great in-depth piece if the Rag could run it. It also might make sense to update the article to indicate that the suspect was released.

          Skeptical of the outcome? Here is the link:

          https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcrim_attorney/Detail?which=case&docketNumber=A5Jv7qT5zxN81_PLUS_px9ADOGg==&courtType=L&countyId=ftUCLXxA/VgUxT4CDSVwBw==&docketId=x/29xaN3IAgIj8KMgjKZiA==&docketDseq=o6PDyKIx4BvSfbvyCgDnHw==&defendantName=Johnson,+Darrell&county=NEW+YORK&court=New+York+Criminal+Court&recordType=C&recordNum=z_PLUS_FIKhN7biwPnAM1joPuRg==#IncidentandArrest

    33. sk says:

      THIS IS the dem way catch and release
      its ok this is the city we live in now. the judges do not care until it happerns to there
      family thank you mayor thank god he is leaving

    34. GD says:

      How about some street cops at 79th and Broadway, 72nd and Broadway, etc? I never see them walking around the neighborhood AT ALL.

    35. Bridget G says:

      Is there a photo of this man available? I live a block from the attack, and given his repeat offenses, I’d like to know who to look out for in the future.

    36. Tina says:

      So is this crazy violent man back on the street to do more damage??? Totally unacceptable and frightening what has been happening here lately. I send speedy recovery wishes to these women and hope the first victim will be able to fully recover!

    37. Maria says:

      I swear if they let this POS out the city has no hope.

    38. RAL says:

      Probably the same guy who attacked my friend from behind one morning and pushed her over on Riverside Blvd. a couple of months ago.

    39. Ellen Freilich says:

      Bail is not the issue. There should be NO pre-trial release of people who physically attack strangers on the street or – for that matter – for people who physically attack people (or partners) that they know. But it’s also not a matter of shuttling a shelter off to another neighborhood. A shelter is one thing. Getting the sociopaths off the street is another.

    40. MV says:

      Another gift from our lame duck, clueless mayor. I don’t know how this arrogant idiot sleeps at night!

    41. Ellen Freilich says:

      If indeed this man was released, as reported by a commenter here, It’s ridiculous – and dangerous – to release a criminal like this “on his own recognizance” when he has no cognizance!

      • Greg says:

        Just wanted to add that I know Johnson was released almost immediately, within 24 hours of being arrested. Please check NY State WebCrims website if you don’t believe it (I understand why you wouldn’t).

        For those of you who have asked how this can be changed, as the former ADA rightly pointed out, this requires changing the legislation, both bail reform and the ridiculous criminal statutes themselves. This is a great example. In order to be easily charged with Assault 2 (a felony), without a weapon, Johnson would have had to cause “serious physical injury.” While any reasonable person would conclude anything requiring a serious hospital visit, which make no mistake, was the case here, is a “serious physical injury,” the statute and case law set a pretty high bar for that.

        The problem is the left’s war on law enforcement. If it were the legislators’ daughters, sisters or wives getting beaten in the street and then faced with the prospect of the perpetrator being released back onto the same corner before they left the hospital, I think they’d have a different approach.

        You want this to change? Don’t vote for these incredibly irresponsible people that write the laws.

    42. Seneca M. Griffin says:

      We need more police than ever now. The Holidays are here and violence is going to escalate.

    43. Caryn says:

      Maybe it’s not ok that there are homeless people in a neighborhood multi millionaire in the riches country in the world.

      I would love to see the person who thinks 79th street is a “nightmare” live homeless for a week.

    44. Caryn says:

      You try being homeless in richest city in richest country in the world. I dare you.

    45. Marilyn says:

      Why is there no outage that the person has no where to live? That’s the problem that needs to be cleaned up.

      • Greg says:

        While this is a complete distraction from the issue being discussed here, New York City consistently spends obscene amounts of money on homelessness. An over $3 BILLION budget for homelessness in NYC and the problem just gets worse (see a 2019 WSJ article reporting on a doubling of the budget since 2014). Per homeless person in NYC, this is a far larger amount spent than the average salary of a New Yorker.

        No, the homelessness problem is not a lack of attention or money. The problem is we as a society let those who have no capacity to take care of themselves live on our streets.

        Again, this is a total distraction, the issue is what we do with violent criminals, homeless or not homeless.

    46. Patricia Sandler says:

      These people at 79th St and Broadway loiter and harass. They also cover our mall sculpture with their cans. They need to be removed from our neighborhood right now. They can work as dishwashers or some other work that does not require English. Shame on our Borough President