Despite the fact that he has reportedly been arrested between 60-100 times, thanks to bail reform, a registered sex offender was out free walking on Third Avenue in the Gramercy Park area of New York City last Friday, when he decided to shove a 92-year-old woman down, causing her to hit her head on a fire hydrant.
The attack was caught on surveillance video. As the suspect, whom CBS New York identified as 31-year-old Rashid Brimmage, walked away, he looked back at the woman but did nothing to help her.
The woman, whom NBC New York identified only as “Geraldine,” said, “When they helped me up, I said ‘what happened’ because I didn’t even know what happened. It was completely out of the blue.”
She wound up at Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital.
“I can’t believe that someone would do this,” she told CBS New York. After watching the video, she said, “Oh, he did look back. He did look back to see me fall on the floor, that rat!”
The woman gestured to her head, noting, “He hit me on the left – ow – that hurts to touch it. [My arm] was all bloody … This man did nothing except change my life and almost kill me.”
She continued, “With my visor on and my face mask, so he barely saw who I was. He just saw an elderly lady walking slowly and he decided I’m perfect for a victim. I’m not going to walk on the street alone right now, absolutely not.”
CBS New York reports that Brimmage is a “registered sex offender who police say has been arrested about 65 times.” His long list of alleged offenses include “assault, harassment, resisting arrest and persistent sexual abuse,” and he is currently scheduled to appear in court in July for multiple arrests earlier this year.
“A senior law enforcement official tells News 4 Brimmage is a recidivist with 100 prior arrests who has gotten a desk appearance ticket for his most recent ones because of bail reform,” NBC New York adds. “He is an NYPD co-response client, which means police have responded with social workers when dealing with him.”
A senior police official said police are concerned that Brimmage will again receive a desk appearance ticket, permitting him to go free and attack someone else, NBC notes.
In early January, Barry Latzer, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, explained in National Review regarding New York City’s bail reform:
The new law prohibits arraignment judges (the ones that handle an arrested person’s first court appearance) from demanding bail for certain defendants or remanding them to jail. Instead, they must release the defendant on his own recognizance (ROR). This release order supposedly does not apply to violent felony offenders. However, numerous crimes of violence or potential violence are found among the state’s so-called nonviolent felonies, including certain robberies, rapes, and assaults.
And judges in New York — unlike judges in 46 other states — may not take public safety into account when deciding whether or not to release someone. While New York law directs arraignment judges to focus on the likelihood of return when ruling on release, it does not provide for an assessment of the risk of nonappearance.
Geraldine, who said she is afraid to go back out on the street, delivered a pleading message to her attacker: “Please stop what you’re doing. That’s all I can say to this man,” CBS reports.
“I’m so happy he was arrested,” she told NBC. “Boy, he should stay in jail and think about what he did. Try to change, and try to make himself better.”
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