Authorities predicted months in the past that the homeless man who allegedly shoved a straphanger onto Manhattan subway tracks would grow to be a serial subway menace, The Put up has discovered.
Regulation enforcement had instructed another subway-attack victim — a retired postal employee who was allegedly slugged within the face on an F practice in Chelsea by Justin Pena on Jan. 16 — that the unhinged shelter resident would quickly be again out on the road, free to terrorize once more.
“They instructed us he’s going to get a slap on the wrist and be again on the road and do the very same factor,” sufferer Anthony Lion’s son Herman Leung recalled. “It’s very upsetting.”
Ten months later, the prediction got here true, police now say.
Pena, 23, allegedly sucker-punched a 36-year-old stranger a number of instances on a platform of the 42nd Avenue-Bryant Park, after which shoved the randomly focused man onto the tracks.
That sufferer was in a position to pull himself again onto the platform earlier than a practice arrived; he suffered solely minor accidents to his knee and arms, turning into the most recent in a spate of assaults on subway passengers by violent, mentally unwell males.
Within the almost year-long stretch between allegedly beating up Lion, 73, and shoving the youthful man to the tracks, Pena has cycled out and in of Bellevue, his mom’s house and the streets.
One place he didn’t go to was courtroom. Pena has missed a number of courtroom dates and nonetheless has not been arraigned, based on a spokesperson for the Manhattan DA’s workplace.
For these 10 months, as in years previous, he by no means acquired the intensive, confining assist he wanted to remain on the medicines he takes for bi-polar and a spotlight deficit dysfunction, his adoptive mother, Angela Pena, 62, instructed The Put up.
“Society didn’t do nothing for my son,” she cried, after studying from a reporter that he’d been jailed in connection to a second assault.
“Assist my son, please!” she begged. “When you assist him, he wouldn’t get in bother.”
Pena remained in Bellevue for simply two weeks after the January assault, she mentioned. Inside weeks of returning house, he was off his remedy and threatening to kill her, she mentioned.
“I instructed them, ‘Preserve him within the hospital. When you preserve him in a hospital he’ll get medicated and he won’t get violent,’” she mentioned from her two-bedroom Bronx residence, the place she saves good recollections of her son in a shoebox of images.
“However on the street, he won’t be medicated. He won’t take his remedy,” she mentioned.
“He didn’t take it with me. He didn’t take it when he was a child. What makes them suppose he’ll take it within the streets?”
She added, “They need to’ve accomplished one thing [to help Pena] after he went to jail, as a result of he’s violent.
“However no person did nothing. Society didn’t do nothing for my son! My son went to jail. My son is sick within the head. My son is sick within the head,” she cried, despondent.
“Put him in a spot the place he may get medicated on a regular basis, as a result of if you happen to inform him, ‘Medicate your self,’ he doesn’t medicate himself. He does no matter he desires.”
Specialists agree with Pena’s mother.
In charge, they are saying, is a scarcity of intensive, in-patient amenities for the estimated 90,000 untreated, critically mentally unwell individuals who as a substitute cycle out and in of New York’s jails, hospitals and homeless shelters.
The overwhelming majority are dangerous solely to themselves, consultants on the city-based Psychological Sickness Coverage Group — however a single-digit fraction of those road persons are violent and, save for transient stints in hospital psychiatric wards, unhelped.
The city squandered $1 billion over the previous 5 years on the ThriveNYC “wellness” program whereas applications for the critically mentally unwell go unfunded, they complain.
In the meantime, cops are requested to select up the items by responding to emergencies — or else are focused by the “Defund the Police” motion.
“The subway isn’t a brief housing facility for the homeless or mentally unwell,” notes retired NYPD Sgt. Joseph Giacalone, an writer and professor at John Jay Faculty of Felony Justice.
“You possibly can spend all of the money and time on the planet on social employees to deal with the psychological well being drawback, but when there is no such thing as a place to maintain those who want the assistance, then it’ll fail miserably,” he instructed The Put up Saturday.
“As well as, a few of these suspects had been arrested on different crimes, solely to be launched instantly underneath the brand new bail reform legal guidelines,” he added.
“Cops have seen this disaster coming for years,” agreed Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association.
“Each time we deal with a job involving a critically mentally unwell particular person — one thing we do efficiently hundreds of instances annually — we go away realizing that any assist we will present is only a Band-Support.”
Probably the most psychotic road folks — those that gained’t take their remedy on their very own, “must be confined for their very own security and the security of others,” Lynch mentioned.
As a substitute, “we’re being provided a false alternative between ‘lock all of them up’ [in jail] and ‘do nothing,’ as a result of an actual answer would take time, creativity, cash and onerous work,” he mentioned.
The household of Anthony Lion nonetheless hasn’t recovered from his January assault — and after listening to of Wednesday’s alleged subway shove from The Put up, they’re afraid that extra victims may observe.
“Oh wow, that’s horrible,” Lion’s spouse, Dorothy, 66, mentioned Saturday of final week’s assault.
Lion speaks principally Cantonese, and is affected by dementia, she mentioned in talking for him.
“There are quite a lot of mentally disordered folks” within the metropolis, she apprehensive.
“Anyone has to observe up with [Pena’s] psychological dysfunction and possibly ship him to someplace like rehab or the hospital and get him remedy,” she mentioned.
“I hope there’s no extra of such a sufferer — I hope it gained’t occur once more.”
Extra reporting by Larry Celona