By Joy Bergmann
The man charged in two violent, seemingly random attacks against two women near 79th and Broadway Thursday morning was issued pre-trial release on Friday, according to online court records.
Darrell Johnson, 28, went before a criminal courts arraignment judge for two Manhattan cases, one this week and one from 2020.
Regarding the Thursday incident, Johnson was arraigned on a top charge of two counts of assault with intent to cause physical injury, a class A misdemeanor. He was also charged with multiple attempted assault and harassment charges.
In the pending 2020 case, Johnson received a top charge of one count of assault with intent to cause physical injury, along with harassment and attempted assault charges.
According to the NYPD, Johnson has been arrested 15 times.
Some readers have asked WSR to publish a photo of Johnson. Asked for a photo, an NYPD spokesperson emailed, “We do not disseminate photos of arrested individuals.” NYPD did provide this physical description of Johnson: “Darrell Johnson is a male, Black, 28-years-old. 6’0” tall, weighing 165 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair, and has tattoos on his arms including a heart and the word, “mob.”
Johnson is not the same man who has frequented the southern median at the 79th and Broadway intersection for more than three years.
Under current New York State law, most defendants are to be released prior to trial: “the court shall release the principal pending trial on the principal’s own recognizance, unless the court finds on the record or in writing that release on the principal’s own recognizance will not reasonably assure the principal’s return to court.”
Incoming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s position on pre-trial detention appears to be aligned with current law, according to his Day One Memo: “Presumption of non-incarceration. Non-incarceration is the outcome for every case except those with charges of homicide or the death of a victim, a class B violent felony in which a deadly weapon causes serious physical injury, or felony sex offenses in Article 130 of the Penal Law.” Bragg includes some exceptions to that rule “in extraordinary circumstances.”
WSR attempted to reach Johnson’s public defender as well as prosecutors from the Manhattan DA’s office. We will update this story if they respond.
Johnson is next due in court on February 1, 2022.
UPDATE 12/5/21: A spokesperson from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office emailed WSR additional details on Johnson’s cases.
According to the D.A., in August 2020, Johnson allegedly punched a man, knocking him to the ground; he then allegedly kicked and stomped on the victim’s head and body. The assault-in-the-third-degree charges for this incident are misdemeanors and not eligible for monetary bail; Johnson was released on his own recognizance.
For the December 2, 2021, assaults allegedly committed by Johnson, the Assistant District Attorney asked for and received supervised release, the D.A. spokesperson said. [Again, the charges of assault-in-the-third-degree are not bail-eligible offenses.] Johnson’s release terms are “Tier 2, Level 4.” According to this City web site, Johnson must have at least five contacts with officials during the first month of release, then two phone check-ins and two in-person visits per month.