By Carol Tannenhauser
Another sucker-punching incident occurred on Wednesday on Central Park West and West 66th Street, this time involving a tourist.
The victim was a 17-year-old young man visiting the city from Nashville, Tennessee, with his parents. They were walking into Central Park at around 12:30pm when an “unknown assailant punched the boy in the face and fled east on West 65th Street,” a police spokesperson said. The boy was knocked to the ground, suffering bruises and a bloody nose. He was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital for treatment, according to the New York Post.
Many passersby stepped in to help, the Post reported. The boy’s mother said she was “impressed because aside from the one seemingly mentally ill person who punched my kid, every other person we’ve encountered — everyone — has been just amazingly nice.”
Was the assailant mentally ill? Not necessarily, Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice told the Post in August. “It’s not only the mentally ill who are committing these assaults,” he said. “There are individuals who are angry, bored and brazen, who know they are not going to be prosecuted.”
Alcazar said there is also “an insidious ‘game,’ a sicko street challenge where thugs attempt to render an unsuspecting innocent unconscious with a single blow….We have to keep our heads on a swivel,” he advised.
While the NYPD told the Post “it doesn’t track such ‘knockout’-type assaults specifically, this year , there have been close to 20 ‘sucker-punch’ incidents [across the city].”
Actor Rick Moranis suffered a well-publicized sucker punch on CPW and 70th Street in October 2020. His assailant was arrested the following month.
Terribly sorry this happened, and glad that there seem to have been many good citizens stepping up to help this person.
Not sure we needed this Alcazar guy to tell us that there are some bad people out there.
Crime continues to soar. Yet we keep hearing it is just a perception. I’m sick and tired of being gaslighted.
I was just alerted from my child’s school that “Moms For Zeldin” rally is taking place tomorrow in front of the school campus at 77th street.
I’m inquiring why WSR didn’t inform us about such of an even regarding your party affiliation as it impacts the area and it is a very important rally for everyone who has school-ages children. WSR rag is supposed to represent all of the community and not just retirees who are comparable sitting on park benches reminiscing about good old 70s and 80s. Most of us, who are a figure of UWS have to raise our children here, in safe and sane environment, and not go crazy about criminal coddling.
Just FYI, here’s the issues this organization is questioning:
“ Moms for Lee have had enough of the War Against Women waged by the Left’s candidates and elected officials via deadly dangerous policy that many have voted in favor of without realizing the implications. What they dully voted for, they’ve had enough of; no-go zone subways imperiling school drop-off and pick-up. Sidewalks riddled with criminals roaming freely. Throngs of male teens smoking weed in front of young kids. Unconstitutional mandates and medical apartheid. “Shelter dumping” in once thriving residential areas creating panhandling, rampant and open drug use, and litter. And the moms have had it with the mentally unhinged committing gruesome acts that permitted because of the social justice initiative to “reimagine.” “
Not to mention Zeldin’s number one priority – fire Bragg.
It’s difficult to know where to start in response but, because it’s often futile to have a calm dialog re political differences, I’ll limit myself to the offensive ageism comment. This stereotypical assumption of who older people are and how they spend their time is straight out ignorant. I won’t attempt to itemize the myriad of ways elderly people occupy their time because, even though I’m one of them, I don’t purport to speak for or characterize millions of others whom I don’t know. I leave that kind of commentary to bigots, who group large segments of the population and then make judgmental comments about them without the benefit of in-depth and accurate information. But just to cite a few examples of how older citizens benefit our neighborhood and society at large: Most of the volunteers who administer our elections are older citizens, making it possible for everyone else to vote. They also are the major source of school volunteers who help with English and math tutoring to children in need of assistance.. Obviously, these are only two examples of how many retirees give back to the community after a lifetime of work and overcoming all the health, family, financial, etc. challenges with which they were/are confronted. I hope you reach retirement age so you’ll have a more substantive idea of what it’s about.
Hi @Susan and @josephine,
As I apologized yesterday, my comment about retiree’s was a knee-jerk reaction to a recent comment from a local retiree (I prefer not to disclose the name, you can find it yourself if you want to) stating that they feel great sitting on a park bench admiring the fact we have so many homeless shelters because it make three feel good and compassionate. There was no concern whatsoever about the safety of local children and overall law-abiding citizens.
I meant to rebut this point of view in particular and not to put down all the retirees.
I’m sorry it came across as such.
Thank you, Dana.
I was stunned and saddened when I read your message because older adults are faced with much hostility and discrimination just because of their age.
I adored my great grandmother, grandparents and all the older people in my family. Consequently, I naively grew up assuming everyone felt the same about their family members and so would never disrespect older people writ large. That turned out to be a false premise.
Hopefully, going forward , if some unpleasant interaction occurs, it would be so helpful if everyone would take a breath and think before turning one specific experience into a wholesale attack on any group of people. It’s clear you didn’t mean to do that, Dana, and it was very kind and brave of you to apologize. Please know that I appreciate and accept your sincere apology.
Wait a minute..where are these ‘retirees just sitting on park benches’? Many of us are still working or doing other things to be useful. Where are these sidewalks ‘riddled with criminals’ or ‘thongs of male teens’?
I agree that crime is a problem ..we are all scared. But I don’t think your words are helpful or true.
It seems both sides have waged a war on women.
If only Zeldin didn’t have his head so far up Trump’s bung hole. I would love to support him, but will not tolerate an election denier.
Please, I implore you, move somewhere else. The way you, and other republicans act, you’d think the city is on fire. There will always be crime is cities as dense as New York, but the fact that crime is up when compared to years that the city was locked down with little economic activity, makes sense. It’s also interesting to note that crime and murder is way, way down compared to a decade ago.
Please leave and take your fearmongering with you, we’d be better for it.
Please keep this kind of advice to yourself. Please don’t tell me or anyone else to move.
If my opinions are different from yours, and you resent them so much, go ahead and move yourself.
I’m fine with people having different opinions, the issues you are struggling with.
No, I will complain and stay.
Zeldin is anti-choice. Anti-gay marriage. Anti-gun control. Anti-voting rights. He’s a far-right Trump supporter who voted to overturn a free, democratic election. Be careful who you vote for.
He’s also anti-crime.
Liberals are going to learn after this election, that THE most important thing for people is the safety of their children. Every issue other than that is expendable, except for zealots.
“Moms for Lee have had enough of the War Against Women waged by the Left’s candidates and elected officials”
Lee Zeldin supports a total abortion ban without even exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. So if your 12-year-old daughter gets raped, Mom, too bad, Zeldin thinks she should go through nine horrific months of pregnancy and then have to deal with the baby. Probably God wanted her to have that baby or something.
“Not to mention Zeldin’s number one priority – fire Bragg.”
So, do you think Lee Zeldin actually doesn’t know that the governor of NY doesn’t have the authority to fire the elected DA of Manhattan, or does he just think we’re all too stupid to know it?
Actually, the governor of NY is the ONLY one who has the authority to fire the Manhattan D.A.. — though there are a bunch of legal hoops to jump through to actually be able to get it done.
If republicans have the answers then why are crime rates higher in Texas and Florida than New York?
MUCH higher. 8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century. But why let facts influence your opinion…
Maybe it has nothing to do with repub’s versus dem’s but rather basic common sense. Do you like what you have now with the current political mindset that seems to be in charge of most of America’s major cities? The WSR does a great service for our community in reporting on a timely basis not only the dark side but the most wonderful parts of who we are. The UWS has always been special…let;’s keep it that way.
I agree with you overall, but denigrating retirees as “sitting on park benches reminiscing” does not strengthen your argument. I raised my kids here not so long ago in an environment that was safe. I still count plenty of friends with young teens,. I am as concerned about the safety of families as I am about the safety of seniors (a stage I only recently entered), women and minorities. We all need to feel safe, whether walking on the Westside, congregating in parks, or riding the subway. We should demand safety for one and all.
I apologize, I overreacted because of some retiree’s recent comments praising the neighborhood for compassion for criminals and disregarding the safety of the families. They actually mentioned enjoying sitting on the bench in the park when local families are scared for their children simply making to the local schools.
My mistake – I shouldn’t have thrown a blanket statement like this towards all the retirees in the area.
As you said – we all deserve to feel safe regardless age, gender, etc.
It seems to me that the elderly sitting on benches would be MORE of a target for criminals than children, who are probably carrying nothing of value. Maybe the benchsitters know more about the actual crime rates than you do.
Sheesh, I looked it up and the story was just published online today and they’re calling it a town hall. How would anyone have known if they weren’t part of the ‘moms’ group? You’re fortunate that the school gave you a heads up.
Why does WSR and the other local papers only report on Democrat events? It’s a good question,. I get the Dem machine and all the local institutions they control do whatever they can to silence the opposition, but shouldn’t the news focus on news regardless of political affiliation?
Why do you Make Stuff Up? (Feel free to replace the 5 letter word “stuff” with a more emphatic 4 letter one).
The WSR covers lots and lots of stuff, INCLUDING the R’s running for office in the UWS.
WSR is the only outlet that profiled the Republican candidate opposing Jerry Nadler in the 12-district congressional race!
We didn’t inform you, because no one informed us.
Can you provide information? Send to email@example.com
By the way, I am very curious how you think Zeldin would be able to fire Bragg. who was elected by the citizens of NYC a year ago?
Zeldin says he will fire him in his TV ads and the Republicans believe it although it is patently false. He was elected, not appointed!
It’s the law in New York State. The governor can remove a DA anytime, for any reason.
Not true. There first must be an investigation and a hearing, as described in Section 34 “Proceedings for Removal by Governor”, the laws of New York State.
Because he is not DOING THE JOB he was voted in for – keeping criminals off the street, plus he is downgrading every offense except for the most violent offenses and not prosecuting scores of more minor criminal offenses. I know because the DA’s office called me personally to ask me about a felony robbery of a customer that happened in my store where the NYPD caught the guy but then the DA never followed up. I followed up and asked why and it was because the DA’s office lowered it to a misdemeanor so no need for my information because now it was not a felony.
Did my customer ever come back? Of course not because she was frightened and probably told 20 people not to go near my store or our block though not my fault and the NYPD DID THEIR JOB AND CAUGHT HIM.
That’s why small businesses are closing up or leaving and just ONE of many reasons Bragg should be fired. I don’t care whether it’s a Democrat or Republican, get Bragg out of here and fix this city.
You don’t know that? Why are you commenting then? Hochul is the only one who can fire Bragg, but she wouldn’t.
If you are so curious, do your research first prior to firing comments.
He can. See: https://law.justia.com/constitution/new-york/article-xiii/section-13/
So, what violation of the Public Officers Law has Bragg failed to faithfully prosecute? (P.S. It wouldn’t be firing, but impeaching.)
Thank you. I presume you are referring to clause (b). Which NY State law are you claiming that AG Bragg is failing to faithfully prosecute a person charged with the violation?
Zeldin will lose, but here’s the GOP booby-prize for “Moms for Zeldin” — it’ll make your kids safer, they promise ha ha: https://gothamist.com/news/federal-judge-blocks-ny-gun-ban-in-times-square-subways
What NYC needs is more kids with guns!
I’m a parent of a middle-schooler. The comments containing “ha ha” are despicable.
That seems a little thin-skinned. Zeldin supports concealed carry of guns within NYC as far as I understand, and certainly that is the GOP position. The ha ha was a commentary on the absurd position that will make us safer, when all the statistics indicate that it will result in more innocents being injured and killed. Zeldin supporters can’t have it both ways.
Wait. A retired NYPD detective who, in addition to his handsome pension, is also on the NYC tab as an adjunct professor at CUNY blames Democrats. Incisive reporting by the NY Post. Film at 11.
I don’t get why this was quoted, Carol. Aside from stirring another round of angry comments.
How many years should we jail the perp for: 10 or 20?
Try, if you can, for a moment to imagine your 17-yr-old or yourself getting punched and then tell us how many years you prefer. That’ll be a start.
The quote was included because I hoped to provide some insight into the psychology behind this awful practice; this was all I found after searching, and the source’s credentials are solid.
A quick google and a look at his overtly partisan tweets belies that. It’s your rag and your call, but I don’t see how throwing kerosene on a rag fire is constructive.
You have a point regarding his tweets, but I was interested in his information, not his politics.
It’s not a perception – crime is up all over the country. It’s likely that both Trump’s permissive attitude at his rallies where he encouraged violence (starting nearly 7 years ago) and the nearly 3 years of sheltering from the pandemic has set loose a kind of zeitgeist in a restless group of high-school/post high school crowds. Adolescents are not the most patient people. They’ve been suppressed for a couple of years, lost time, lost interactions, possibly stuck indoors in bad situations.
I don’t mean to make excuses. I’m trying to comprehend the huge number of street shootings, sucker-punches, and in some cities mob-looting of stores & convenience shops. It’s a phenomenon not really seen before. Like the all terrain vehicles and cycles mobbing intersections, doing wheelies en masse. Just flexing their power for no more reason than “they can”.
We need to get a handle on it. But it seems impossible by today’s policing standards to put that genie back into the bottle.
For the time being – we’ll have to adopt the late 1970s mentality – of keeping your eyes open, your headphones off, your purse or wallet very close and our eyes peeled. High stress again on streets of all big cities.
It’s not the police, it’s the elected officials who have allowed the lenient attitudes and loosened practically every law. Here in NYC, unless someone is dead, you’ll be either let go with a desk appearance ticket or held for a day and even if you kill someone and try to hide it, you’ll be out in 1-3 years – such as the case of the actress who got killed by an e-bike rider in Lincoln Center.
The police are doing THEIR job, arresting the same people 10 times in a month for crimes they commit over and over. Ask them. Really ask them.
Someone might not be diagnosed as “mentally ill”, but there are so many of these so called bored, brazen people out there, that act without considering the consequences, that maybe they should be assumed mentally ill and (if) caught need evaluation. Punching folks, pushing older people, setting fires. Maybe a psych hold will scare some of them out of their boredom.
Such assailants, sociopaths or whatever, have shown who they are by what they do. They deserve to be put away, separated from the society they’re preying on and/or destroying, for society must protect itself from such destructive persons, regardless of the whys and wherefores or explanations.
If society doesn’t do that, doesn’t protect itself from such destructive elements, then its shown itself for what IT is; ipso facto, it’s in a state of stagnation or has an obvious or deeply seated death wish and deserves its ignominious doom.
Crime is down until some mentally ill homeless guy punches you in the face.
If all you require is anecdotal evidence, then Facebook and Twitter are for you!
The whole area around Columbus Circle, and especially Central Park West, park side from Columbus Circle through the 60’s, is in need of greater security presence. I often walk through this area on the way home from midtown and it is not a safe area. There were several crimes in the vicinity of Columbus Circle in the last few weeks, and it is a popular area with tourists.
This a helpful and well reported article. I appreciated hearing Professor Alcazar’s perspective as we rarely hear what could be motivating these random attacks.
I INTERACT WITH POLICE AND COMMON CITIZENS AND EVERYBODY IS SCARED OF SAFETY. NYC HAS NOT HAD THIS QUICK A DECENT SINCE THE SIXTIES.
Catch the criminals who do the crime.
If crazy – put them away so they can’t repeat crazy things.
If same, put them away as well.
No freedom without bail.
Make the bail high.
Get rid of DA’s who do nor prosecute criminals.
Save New York city, save the state.
Think hard before you vote.
Alcazar said there is also “an insidious ‘game,’ a sicko street challenge where thugs attempt to render an unsuspecting innocent unconscious with a single blow….We have to keep our heads on a swivel,” he advised.
That sounds completely made up hoax with no evidence whatsoever, but it’s the Post so that’s to be expected
Actually, sucker punch challenges are quite real and have been going on for years. Clearly you do not read the tabloids — and that includes the very left wing Daily News as well as the right wing Post. Yes, it is true. No one has to make up anything. A man eating at Columbus Circle the other day was smashed in the face with a chair by a per who ran away. Random attack. Broke his nose, damaged his entire face and could have killed him. Airline employee randomly attacked in subway might lose an eye and has severe PTSD from being attacked in the subway the other day. These attacks are going on all over.
Or, it sounds like a completely plausible explanation, by a knowledgeable person, of a difficult-to-fathom behavior that happens way more than statistically plausible.
What “evidence” do you need? The transcript of the meeting where “they” invented the “game”? He’s explaining a phenomenon, not convincing a jury.
Tik-Tok is full of stupid, dangerous “challenges” aimed at teenagers, but this, apparently, is beyond belief to you.
The “knockout game” has been around for decades, it’s not a hoax. Where have you been?
It’s called the knockout game and it’s been happening since at least 2013. Multiple news sources have covered it, but if you don’t want bother reading the facts you can choose either the ‘images’ or ‘videos’ option and see for yourself. : (
Vote the same way, get the same results.
It is as simple as that.
The guy who broke into Kouzan should be released pending sentencing. This guy, no. Definitely not.
What do you know of the Kouzan guy, other than his age and maybe homeless status? Is this his first offence/arrest? Or his 50th? Has he been violent in the past? Did he resist arrest?
It’s this kind of quick blanket judgment that gets us in trouble and destroys all credibility for bail reform.
i was at the exact same spot – 23 hours earlier – and this story has chilled me to the bone. Even if this miscreant is arrested, you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be immediately released without bail. A thug who menaced people at the CP carousel a few days before was apprehended, arrested, and immediately released without bail.
What is going on in our City?
Next thing you know, DA Bragg will be giving the creeps Yankee tickets, as an apology for inconveniencing them.
Really disappointing to see the number of people here who continue to demonize anyone or anything they perceive as The Other Side, regardless of logic or facts, which includes both making the assumption that WSR was suppressing information about a Zeldin rally, and scolding the WSR for daring to interview someone who has posted tweets not approved by the Democrat party. No wonder this city is falling apart.
They don’t dare actually address arguments and try to win them. When people have the facts on their side and good arguments, they are excited to talk about them. When they have nothing, they throw hysterical tantrums and demonize people instead.
Seems like Dana might have an agenda. Lee Zeldin whose party is responsible for the most outrageous gun laws this country has ever seen which I’m afraid will soon make our streets high in crime but a war zone if the laws are further liberalized here like his Party wants them to be. Who despite heart-breaking and repeated school shootings destroying the lives of thousands of people, especially the children who were brutally murdered, there isn’t a chance in Hell that Ar-15’s or other high powered weapons of war will be outlawed any time soon thanks to Mr. Zeldin and his Party. Mr. Zeldin who would outlaw abortion under all circumstances in this state and all others if given a chance. Not to mention what a bigoted and insensitive but not surprising remark from someone likely new to this city about older people who’ve only made New York into a place so many others would like to live. Pretty arrogant which seems to be the new flavor of the day.
Regardless of the reason you don’t like the opponent, anyone who votes for and supports Zeldin and his compatriots (Elise Stefanik for one) is voting for Trumpers and his “base” of Nazi-lovers to succeed and for democracy to fail. Yes, it can happen here. If that’s your agenda and it succeeds (helped along by one-issue votes and/or those who expect perfect from candidates, sucker punches will be the least of our worries.
Do liberals ever actually address points anymore or do they only smear? How far can you go with that?
There are two types of people: those who see what is happening and who TRULY understand that it can happen to them or their kids. Then there are those who think that bad things only happen to other people. We had a young Columbia college girl killed, we have had many asian people killed and beaten, we even had a baby slashed in the face while in a stroller a couple of years ago. Hundreds of other crimes have taken place as they pile up daily. VOTE to end this and please realize that this stuff is happening literally everyday to people here and it could be you.
Of course it can happen here. So can a lot of things. And if the Zeldins of the Republican party as it exists now, there will be proud boys in brownshirts in the streets with guns, now legal to carry in NYC. It won’t just be a sucker punch. It will be a gunshot. Yes – people need to see who is taking over the country – or trying to. The Asylum seekers will be us.
“Proud boys in brown shirts”?!!! That’s how you call half of your country population? This is utterly disgusting.
Are you saying that half the country are “Proud Boys”. I sure hope not!! As a number of them are on trial for sedition right now and at least one of them has pleaded guilty to it. Half the country are Proud Boys??? Ugh.
I think some miss the point. The Republican Party of whom Mr. Zeldin is a representative is not the same Party anymore. Lee Zeldin was an election denier. He has supported Donald Trump throughout in spite of the propaganda he has continued to spread that he actually won the election and Biden is not the President. Trump tried to overturn a fair and legal election because he couldn’t get over not winning and refused to give up power. Now you might say, what has that got to do with New York and crime? I hope that question is rhetorical. It has just about everything to do with New York City. Mr. Zeldin might be able to get away with this cheap election ploy in Long Island but not in New York City. We get the Trump lie. We know that our democracy is threatened by Trump and his minions. We know the Republican Party has been taken over by its most extreme elements. We know that Zeldin supports gun laws that would put more of them onto our streets including high powered military grade weapons that would increase, not decrease crime! That speaks to an issue very much on the minds of New Yorkers who are concerned about crime. An issue being used on this comment page and elsewhere to prop up Mr. Zeldin when in fact he supports policies on record that would be dangerous for NYC. His Party appears to be supporting numerous repressive and regressive planks like the outlawing of abortion under any circumstances even in the case of rape nationwide, New Yorkers don’t agree with that! LGBT rights are also under assault as well as the rights of those who come here seeking asylum in the Republican leadership. All those things are important to New Yorkers. We can read statistics about crime which are far less hyperbolic, and understand when arguments are made to inflame an issue to enhance a trailing candidate and to throw up a smokescreen to cover up what a candidate’s record actually is.
What liberals don’t understand is that most people who are “liberal” are not zealots. They are not willing to watch their children get slashed, humiliated, robbed, killed, etc. You can dismiss people who are concerned with crime all you want, but you will not change one vote. Not only are many liberals going to vote for Zeldin, but many young people will also. Each year, someone 17 years old who sees this happening around them, becomes 18 and can vote.
People want to feel safe, and they don’t. Criminals need to be held responsible for their actions and dealt with to protect us citizens. That is what 95% of the people on this earth want, white, black, all religions, all ages, and until liberals understand that, they will lose votes.
CB — there are plenty of Democrats who support law and order, and the police. You have to know who they are and vote for them. I know, because I work for a police union and we endorse them, just as we endorse many Republicans, too. Nothing is all or one party only. However, I agree that pressure needs to be put on Albany to repeal bail reform asap.
And that would mean that Governor Hochul who btw is a Mother herself doesn’t care about crime?? Are you serious? The NYPD is fully funded and backed up entirely by Hochul and the Mayor. The Mayor is a former police officer. So I’m not buying your law and order plea here as if what you term “liberals” are those unconcerned with crime. It strikes me that you are new to New York. I’ve lived here my whole life. Large cities are not like the suburbs! But NY prior to Covid and Mr. Trump was one of the safest cities in America. So don’t pick and choose your facts. Liberals have been Mayor and Governor for a very long time while NY was a very safe city. And as for Mr. Zeldin, seems he like Trump will do anything to seize power-Like forge signatures on a petition to try and put himself on the Libertarian Party ticket. There’s your crime fighter who with his Party is aiming to put AR-15’s on the streets of this city which doesn’t seem to concern you when it comes to the safety of children. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lee-zeldin-election-fraud-accusations_n_62d3a3dce4b0ed8ba4901eb9
“People want to feel safe, and they don’t”. Yes, that is a big concern, but not the only concern; as a number of commenters here have clearly pointed out , Zeldin is in favor of many awful positions (anti abortion, pro Trump, pro gun lobby, pro tax breaks for the wealthy, etc.), which should be considered before voting for him or anyone else; it may be easy to be a one -issue voter, but not such a good idea. Of course, if you are in favor of his positions on all those issues, then it makes sense to vote for him.
proud boys in streets with guns doing what? shooting you on your way to fairway?
Thank you, WSR, for all your fine reporting. I have one quibble: can you please add a hyphen to “sucker punched” (as you already do in the body of the article)? Without a hyphen, it looks like you’re calling the person who got punched a “tourist sucker”.
Added quotes instead. Thanks.
Michael Alcazar’s point about the assailants not be prosecuted is the cause of this violence.
Bragg and those who support him have a twisted idea of social justice. Their decision making process prioritizes the rights of the perpetrators of these violent incidents over the rights of the victims and all law abiding citizens.
Is there a description of the assailant?
I am a Democratic voter, and I am not going to vote for Zeldin for many reasons. But there is something very wrong with the system when stuff like this happens over and over:
“In the Sep. 30 L train attack, the police said that Alvin Charles, who is homeless and was on supervised release after being accused of attempted murder last year in a separate case, was charged on Thursday with killing a commuter, Tommy Bailey, during a dispute.”