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 Submit has discovered.
Legislation enforcement had informed another subway-attack victim — a retired postal employee who was allegedly slugged within the face on an F prepare 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 informed 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 capable of pull himself again onto the platform earlier than a prepare arrived; he suffered solely minor accidents to his knee and fingers, turning into the newest in a spate of assaults on subway passengers by violent, mentally unwell males.
Within the practically 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 court docket. Pena has missed a number of court docket dates and nonetheless has not been arraigned, in response to a spokesperson for the Manhattan DA’s workplace.
For these 10 months, as in years previous, he by no means obtained the intensive, confining assist he wanted to remain on the drugs he takes for bi-polar and a spotlight deficit dysfunction, his adoptive mother, Angela Pena, 62, informed The Submit.
“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 stated. Inside weeks of returning house, he was off his treatment and threatening to kill her, she stated.
“I informed them, ‘Preserve him within the hospital. When you preserve him in a hospital he’ll get medicated and he won’t get violent,’” she stated from her two-bedroom Bronx residence, the place she saves good reminiscences of her son in a shoebox of images.
“However on the street, he won’t be medicated. He won’t take his treatment,” she stated.
“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 carried out 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 should you inform him, ‘Medicate your self,’ he doesn’t medicate himself. He does no matter he desires.”
Specialists agree with Pena’s mother.
Accountable, they are saying, is an absence of intensive, in-patient services for the estimated 90,000 untreated, severely 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 temporary 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 severely 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 short lived housing facility for the homeless or mentally unwell,” notes retired NYPD Sgt. Joseph Giacalone, an writer and professor at John Jay School of Legal Justice.
“You possibly can spend all of the money and time on this planet on social staff to deal with the psychological well being downside, but when there isn’t a place to maintain people who want the assistance, then it can fail miserably,” he informed The Submit Saturday.
“As well as, a few of these suspects had been arrested on different crimes, solely to be launched instantly below 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 severely mentally unwell individual — one thing we do efficiently 1000’s of instances every year — we depart realizing that any assist we are able to present is only a Band-Assist.”
Essentially the most psychotic road individuals — those that received’t take their treatment on their very own, “should be confined for their very own security and the protection of others,” Lynch stated.
As an alternative, “we’re being provided a false alternative between ‘lock all of them up’ [in jail] and ‘do nothing,’ as a result of an actual resolution would take time, creativity, cash and onerous work,” he stated.
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 Submit, they’re afraid that extra victims may comply with.
“Oh wow, that’s horrible,” Lion’s spouse, Dorothy, 66, stated Saturday of final week’s assault.
Lion speaks principally Cantonese, and is affected by dementia, she stated in talking for him.
“There are a number of mentally disordered individuals” within the metropolis, she anxious.
“Any person has to comply with up with [Pena’s] psychological dysfunction and possibly ship him to someplace like rehab or the hospital and get him therapy,” she stated.
“I hope there’s no extra of one of these sufferer — I hope it received’t occur once more.”
Extra reporting by Larry Celona