It looks like a scene from Afghanistan: A maniac wielding a hatchet brutally whacked a 51-year-old man at an ATM in Lower Manhattan Sunday.
The day before, a woman came up behind a 22-year-old man at the Times Square subway station and shoved him for no reason, nearly sending him to the tracks; the woman had been booked seven times in just the past two months, police say. Always to be released back onto the streets without treatment.
These seem to be just the latest cases of violent, mentally ill individuals roaming the streets and lashing out randomly at innocent New Yorkers. Yet Mayor Bill de Blasio can’t, or simply won’t, lift a finger to make New Yorkers safe as he prepares to leave office at year’s end.
This time, fortunately, the subway rider was able to remain on the platform and avoid catastrophe, and the man struck in the caught-on-video hatchet attack was hospitalized in stable condition. Yet it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed. Again.
Not two years ago, recall, another madman attacked five homeless men asleep on the sidewalks with a three-foot metal bar, killing four. Meanwhile, de Blasio has spent hundreds of millions on ThriveNYC, a worthless “mental-health” program run by his wife, while allowing the city’s mental-illness crisis to mushroom — with crazies wandering around without proper care and medication, threatening public safety.
A caring mayor would’ve moved mountains to get help for these people and keep them away from the public. He would’ve demanded legislation to bolster Kendra’s Law, which allows courts to mandate help for such people. And more hospital beds. And other steps. But none of that fits Blas’ interests or ideology.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s stepping down next week, hasn’t done much either. He’s been in the best position to force legislative action and bump up hospital space. Yet the violent mentally ill have never been a priority.
With both gone, New York will soon have a chance to end the madness. Kathy Hochul, who’ll take over as gov, and Eric Adams, who’s expected to follow de Blasio as mayor, need to make this a top priority.
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