A New York mother of six children was killed Sunday afternoon in a fatal car accident involving a stolen vehicle and four males; two of the suspects were released from jail mere weeks before the crash and one had multiple warrants out for his arrest.
The males involved were reportedly teens, but their identities have yet to be disclosed. One of the suspects had been recently released on a stolen vehicle charge for another incident.
“This is probably one of the worst accident scenes I’ve seen in a long time, the force of the impact was just incredible,” said Rochester Police Captain Frank Umbrino.
Tishara Pugh, 36, was pregnant with her sixth child and had five other children ranging in age from 10 months to 13 years old. She was instantly killed.
Umbrino has been outspoken about policies, typically tied to Democrats, which make it harder for police officers to keep bad people off the streets, such as so-called bail reform and the Gov. Kathy Hochul-signed “Less is More Act.” Days after the act was signed, one of the released felons allegedly murdered his neighbor with a hatchet.
“One of the people in the car gets caught stealing a car three or four weeks ago, gets a ticket, now he’s out again, and somebody’s dead,” the police captain blasted.
News10 NBC reporter Jennifer Lewke said Wednesday that a passenger in the vehicle struck by the suspects is still in the hospital in critical condition.
“[Rochester] police say the driver of a car struck by a stolen vehicle on Seward St. who died is 36-year old Tishara Pugh, of Rochester,” she reported. “Pugh is a mother of 5. The passenger in her car is in critical condition.”
Lewke noted that two from the stolen vehicle “are still hospitalized.”
#ROC police say the driver of a car struck by a stolen vehicle on Seward St. who died is 36-year old Tishara Pugh, of Rochester. Pugh is a mother of 5. The passenger in her car is in critical condition. 2
occupants in the stolen vehicle are still hospitalized.@news10nbc
— Jennifer Lewke (@WHEC_JLewke) October 19, 2021
Mother Gloria Pugh told News10 NBC reporter Patrick Moussignac that her daughter never had “a chance” to survive the crash.
“The impact was so great with the motor coming out the car,” the mother said. “She didn’t really have a chance.”
Gloria said her daughter “enjoyed and loved her kids, and it’s unfortunate that we’re in these times right now.”
“They asked questions until they found out,” Gloria recalled of telling her grandchildren of the news. “Now they’re not really asking, just watching and observing seems like, but it’s hard on all of us, the loss of their mother.”
Last month, the sister of a murder victim in Rochester blasted Hochul’s progressive legislation that releases convicts who violate their parole, the “Less is More Act.” The Daily Wire reported at the time:
From the Monroe Country jail alone, 17 felons were released this week pursuant to the “Less is More” Act signed by Hochul on Friday. One of the men released was 21-year-old murder suspect Joseph Rivera, who’s accused of killing 47-year-old Heather Majors at her home in July.
“I heard on the news that he was released,” the victim’s sister, Jessica Majors, told News10 NBC. “He shouldn’t have been released.”
“He killed my sister like an animal,” Jessica said. “And he’s 21 years old and if he can be that brutal, commit that rule of a crime at 21, he doesn’t need to be out.”
Hours after his release from the “Less is More” Act, police had to scramble to re-arrest Rivera. According to News 10 NBC, “Rochester detectives say they got ‘frantic’ calls from Jessica Majors’ relatives after Rivera was released.”
Monroe County Chief Deputy Michael Fowler took it to Democrats in Albany responsible for the legislation.
“My message to the victims is ‘Albany is not listening to you,’” said Fowler. “There is a distinct pattern out of Albany that they don’t care about victims and crimes and that’s what we’ve been saying over the past few years. And the evidence is coming at us every single day.”
Umbrino slammed Hochul’s “ignorant” comments defending the act.
“There can’t be probably a more ignorant statement that somebody could make then ‘Well they should’ve just arrested him,’” the police captain said. “We have a very heavy burden that we need to meet before we can make an arrest.”
Umbrino also noted the increased disadvantage authorities are now at when it comes to receiving help from the community. If the suspect is free to walk, it’s that much harder for witnesses to come forward than it already is out of fear of retribution.
“Less bad guys in jail, less witnesses will come forward and talk because they are afraid,” the police captain said. “Less crimes solved. More people victimized.”