Two stories from the New York Post:
Serial slugger arrested again hours after release under bail reform law
The homeless man cut loose without bail despite a history of unprovoked street attacks has been busted again — just a few hours after his release, police said Saturday.
Eugene Webb, 26, was arrested Friday night for aggressive panhandling near a bank entrance in Greenwich Village, just one day after he was hauled in for allegedly slugging a 23-year-old woman in the face so hard that two of her teeth were knocked out.
Webb, who police say is homeless, also attacked a second woman near Grand Central Terminal just hours after the Wednesday attack, punching the 35-year-old and kicking the back of her head, prosecutors said.
But despite a long rap sheet of at least four other arrests, Judge Ann Thompson cut the serial slugger loose under the state’s new bail reform regulations at his Friday morning arraignment.
At his arraignment Friday, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Ashlyn Rich told the judge there was, “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is fully capable of moving around Manhattan, at will,” and asked that Webb be held on $10,000 cash bail— but he was freed on supervised release.
So this guy is a vagrant who has attacked multiple women, and each time has been arrested and released without bail.
Note that he punched one woman so hard he knocked out some of her teeth, and kicked another woman in the back of the head.
Now for story number two:
‘One-punch killer’s’ charges upgraded from misdemeanor to felony
An alleged gang member initially charged with a misdemeanor assault for killing a man on a Brooklyn sidewalk with a single punch is now facing a felony, The Post has learned.
Prosecutors presented the upgraded second-degree assault charge to a grand jury sometime last month after The Post reported on the “one-punch loophole” that led to Joshua Hernandez’s initial misdemeanor rap. He was indicted on the more serious charge Dec. 19, court records show.
The Brooklyn DA’s office said it upgraded the charge “based on additional evidence that was recovered.
“We still believe, however, that a legislative fix is needed to address assaults such as this that result in death,” a spokesman said, noting prosecutors’ previous calls for legislation to eliminate the “one-punch loophole.”
Hernandez’s new charge comes with a maximum penalty of seven years behind bars, while the misdemeanor charge carried a one-year max.
Rodriguez suffered the mortal blow on Nov. 17, when Hernandez, a 25-year-old alleged Latin Kings gang member with a rap sheet that includes assaulting a cop, punched him on a Brooklyn sidewalk, police said.
Rodriguez and his female companion had just left the Mezcaleria La Milagrosa before 5 a.m. when Hernandez and his two friends asked the pair for a cigarette. Rodriguez said he didn’t have a smoke and the group moved on, but minutes later Hernandez snuck up from behind, connecting his fist with Rodriguez’s skull, according to Rodriguez’s sister, Pamela Zambrano Gomez, who claimed to have spoken to a witness.
Rodriguez fell straight to the ground, cracking his cranium on the pavement.
The Venezuelan native and aspiring video game developer was rushed to emergency surgery at Bellevue Hospital, where he fell into a coma. He was on a ventilator for four days before Rodriguez’s family made the gut-wrenching decision to take him off of life support.
Legal experts say the misdemeanor is not an unlikely charge for a “one-punch” killing.
“What frightens me the most is the possibility of the system making him go to prison only a year,” Rodriguez’ father, José Zambrano, had told The Post. “Because of a one-punch law.”
So a guy out with his girlfriend gets sucker-punched by a gang member with a long and violent criminal history.
Like many cases I have reported on, he falls hard, hits his head on the concrete, cracks his skull, and as a result of the head trauma, his brain swells and he dies days later. This is the pattern with one-punch kills. It’s not the punch that’s generally lethal, it’s the fall and subsequent head injury from hitting the ground.
What makes it worse is that New York City seems to have a very lackadaisical attitude about punching someone to death.
Legal experts say that even if the alleged punch led to Rodriguez’ death, upgrading the assault charge to manslaughter would depend on the very difficult proposition of proving there was an intent to kill.
“Just because the result is something horrific and tragic, doesn’t mean you intended that outcome,” said criminal defense attorney and former Manhattan prosecutor Jeremy Saland.
So in New York City, if a criminal punches someone in the head hard enough for them to fall, crack their skull, and die, but didn’t intend to kill them it’s still only prosecuted as assault.
Gaelic football player Danny McGee died from a single blow outside a Queens bar almost a year to the day before Rodriguez was attacked.
Steven O’Brien pleaded guilty to third-degree misdemeanor assault on Nov. 21, the day Rodriguez died. He was sentenced to six months in jail.
Think about that for a second. O’Brien killed a man with a punch, but as far as federal law is concerned, isn’t a prohibited person.
The case prompted the Queens District Attorney’s office to call for harsher punishments for one-punch killings.
“We believe that is an inadequate response by society to a death,” said Acting DA John Ryan. “We call upon the Legislature to pass a law making an intentional assault that results in death a felony.”
New York just decriminalized bank robbery, does anybody expect the legislature to actually pass a law that increases punishment for a crime?
Considering New York has bent over backward to ignore all the Jews getting beat up, does anybody think New York will pass a law that puts a minority kid in prison for punching a Jew who then falls down and dies?
No, I’m pretty sure, just like bail reform, a “one-punch kill loophole” is a way of enacting social justice by letting violent criminals go with minimum punishment.
For the rest of the law-abiding citizens of New York City, what it means is that vagrants can go around punching innocent bystanders to death and be let go to walk around without bail.
As long as you only murder people with your fists, the whole of New York City is your consequence free hunting ground.
What should happen is that New Yorkers should arm themselves, and when someone aggressively panhandles them or tries to bum a cigarette, New Yorkers should be ready to shoot to kill in case said asshole takes a swing.
But this is New York we are talking about, so that will never happen. Instead, more New Yorkers will be punched to death and their attackers will be let go without bail.
3 thoughts on “It’s always the places you can’t carry you need a gun the most – NYC bail reform and one punch edition”
How come intent matters when the outcome is (maybe) worse than what the aggressor expected, but not when it’s less than expected? For an example of the former, the article above; for an example of the latter, any time someone is changed with attempted murder just because the victim survives after being punched/stabbed/shot/run over/etc.
This is an aspect of the criminal justice system that has bothered me for some time. Either intent matters, or it doesn’t.
The “legal expert” is full of shit. In criminal law, generally the intent that matters is the intent to do the act, not to intend the result. If I intend to do an act of violence against another, I am responsible for the results of that violence, whatever it may be. I may have thrown only a single punch, but if that punch was intentional AND unjustified, I am responsible for the result, even up to and including death.
It’s generally the difference between murder (an intent to kill) and manslaughter (a death unintended but legally responsible for). A one-punch death, where the death was unintentional but the punch was unjustified, would be, in my jurisdiction, at least an involuntary manslaughter, with a term of between 2 1/2 years to almost 11 years, depending on the defendant’s criminal history. And it sounds like this guy had plenty of history.
This is an extremely frustrating subject. IMO, it ties into the “unarmed” narrative and that a punch is “just a punch” and doesn’t deserve being filled with lead.
Note this in one of the linked articles: “She was treated for minor injuries at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, police said.” I don’t think losing two teeth is “minor.”
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