More than 70 bandits have been arrested three or more times in the last six months for muggings and armed robberies, and many are on the streets as judges give them multiple shots at freedom.
Among them is teenager Anderson Ortiz, who was sprung three times this spring following arrests in Queens and Brooklyn — only to go on and violently mug an elderly Asian couple in May, according to police and court records.
Cops say Ortiz, 19, grabbed the 63-year-old male victim from behind as he walked along 60th Street near Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, punched him several times in the head and stole cash from his pocket. When the man’s 62-year-old wife bravely intervened, Ortiz’s alleged accomplice, Daisy Saenz, pushed her to the ground and grabbed her purse, according to the criminal complaint.
During the arrest, the NYPD also charged Ortiz with sticking up a Myrtle Avenue BP gas station on April 21. He put his hand in his pocket and threatened to shoot the clerk, while his partner then emptied the register, according to prosecutors.
Judge Kim Petersen finally set bail at $50,000 total in those two cases, $25,000 each. But a week later, another judge reduced it to zero.
“There were evidentiary issues with the cases and as a result the bail could not have continued,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Spokesman Oren Yaniv.
Ortiz remains free as a bird despite five pending criminal cases — in all of them, he was released without having to post bail.
“Second-degree robbery aided by another” — Ortiz’s top charge in two cases — is among two types of “violent” felonies that are not bail-eligible under the state’s new reforms. The law was intended to prevent people accused of non-violent offenses from being jailed because they can’t afford bail.
Anti-reformers have blasted the inclusion of robbery in the new law.
“The act of committing robbery carries an obvious potential for violence and demonstrates a brazen disregard for the law and well-being of others,” said state Assemblyman William Barclay (R-Oswego), who sponsored a bill that successfully rolled back some of the bail reforms earlier this year. “Democrats’ misguided bail reform disaster continues to protect career criminals and threaten public safety. Judges are forced to release repeat offenders … Treating robbery as if it’s a minor offense proves how out-of-touch the pro-criminal policies have become in New York.”
In addition to Ortiz, another 76 suspects have been arrested three or more times in the past six months on robbery charges, according to NYPD statistics.
Among them is Robinson Mosquea, 26, who was arrested and released without bail twice within three days until a judge locked him up and ordered a psychiatric evaluation following his third collar in July.
Mosquea first stole a man’s phone — and punched him in the face when he had the audacity to ask for it back — in front of Virgil’s BBQ in Times Square on May 29, according to a criminal complaint. He was arrested later that day.
But the thrid-degree robbery charge — despite being defined as forcibly taking another person’s property — is considered a non-violent felony that doesn’t require bail under the new reforms. Mosquea was freed and stole a Citibike from a man in Chinatown two days later, authorities say. He threatened the bike rider to “give me your bike or I’ll f–k you up,” prosecutors said.
Mosquea finally lost his independence on July 4, when he was arrested in Brooklyn for two more early-morning robberies.
He brandished a stick in the first robbery, approaching the victim at 7:15 a.m. at a Bushwick bus stop, then grabbing her cellphone, the complaint said. Thirty minutes later, five blocks away, he threatened a second woman with a billy club, swinging it in the air while demanding the cash in her hand and the gold chain around her neck, authorities said.
Because he threatened his victims with weapons he was hit with more serious, first-degree robbery charges, which are bail eligible. A judge finally set bail at $20,000 and ordered a psychiatric evaluation. He was recently ordered held in a jail psychiatric ward until a judge determines he’s fit to stand trial.
Robberies in the city are about level for the last two years, with 8,804 reported through Sept. 13 compared to 8,850 the same period last year.
*story by The New York Post