A New York homeless man has been arrested for the third time in as many weeks after reportedly attacking a 59-year-old unnamed Korean-American who covered the suspect with a coat in cold temperatures on Wednesday. For that, the man was pummeled to the ground and forced to chase the homeless man to retrieve his belongings. The suspect in question is allegedly responsible for two similar previous incidents that occurred earlier in the month of January.
Police say that the alleged attack was caught on video and that the two individuals did not know each other. According to ABC 7, the altercation “happened just before 8:30 a.m. on East 41st Street in Midtown, where police say the 59-year-old victim approached the man, 25-year-old Xavier Israel, who was lying on the ground.”
As seen in the video, the 59-year-old appears to wrap a coat around Israel who was laying on the ground. Then, the homeless man sprung up, punched the Good Samaritan and threw him to the ground, stole his belongings, and tried to flee.
The victim supposedly chased the suspect before he finally caught Israel and held him while he called the police.
According to local media, Israel was “charged with robbery, grand larceny, assault, menacing, disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal possession of stolen property.”
According to ABC 7’s CeFaan Kim who first reported the story, “despite being attacked victim says he will continue to help the needy.”
The incident can be seen here:
59-year-old #KoreanAmerican man #GoodSamaritan takes coat off his back to cover homeless man. Gets assaulted & robbed in Midtown. Suspect has been arrested 3 times this month. Despite being attacked victim says he will continue to help the needy. Happy #KoreanAmericanDay pic.twitter.com/zqd2ODXkXz
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) January 14, 2022
This is not the first time that Israel has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a stranger. In fact, less than a week ago, the 25-year-old was arrested for supposedly attacking a woman who tried to help him. A week before that, he was arrested after being accused of randomly punching two 18-year-olds:
Less than a week before the incident, Israel was accused of targeting another good Samaritan. On Saturday, he allegedly punched a 49-year-old woman who tried to offer him assistance, as per the New York Post.
The woman reportedly fell and injured her elbow. Israel was arrested but eventually released on a desk appearance ticket.
On Jan. 2, Israel was also accused of punching two 18-year-olds in Central Park for no apparent reason. He was also arrested for this incident and eventually released.
According to the New York Post, Israel’s attorney is requesting that his client be released from jail without bail as recommended by District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s memo which says that suspects arrested for “minor crimes” should not be held on pre-trial detention. Since Israel did not use any weapons or murder anybody, the alleged attack could qualify as a minor crime.
“I’m gonna ask you to refer to the new memorandum,” attorney Brian Kennedy supposedly “begged Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso, who ultimately set bail at $25,000.”
Kennedy told the New York Post, “If you’re gonna make that kind of statement in the memo then you should abide by it. They didn’t, [they] argued for bail when he should have been presumptuously released.”
For his part, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) implored sympathy for the homeless man.
“When you see someone attack someone that helps them, that is a signal that people are in pain,” Adams told media. “And we need to alleviate if not irradiate that pain that people are experiencing.”