Mayor Eric Adams said the sicko in the Bronx feces attack who was twice released without bail this week bolsters his argument to change Albany’s lax criminal justice law.
“This individual should not be out on the streets of New York and his release shows the scope of changes that we need to make in order to keep New Yorkers safe,” Adams said in a statement Thursday, a day after Frank Abrokwa was released for the second time on unrelated hate-crime charges from September.
“It is the result of a failed mental health system, a failed housing and support system, and failing criminal justice laws that allow someone with a history of violence who poses a clear threat to public safety to just walk out of court.”
The mayor added, “We can’t allow this horrific situation to be the status quo and must make changes to our laws to both prevent these sort of attacks, through intervention and support, and, when they happen, to subsequently keep people who are clearly a danger to others off the street.”
Abrokwa, a career criminal with nearly two dozen priors, was also cut loose late Tuesday in the feces fiasco from Feb. 21 on charges including reckless endangerment and assault. Bail could not be set on those charges, nor the hate-crime charges in the September attack, thanks to the state’s reform law.
Earlier Thursday, MTA Chairman Janno Lieber lamented that his agency lacks the power to ban recidivist criminals from the public transit system.
“I do not understand why the MTA cannot ban people, like that guy who had three prior attacks in the subway system, from using our system,” Lieber said during a virtual event hosted by NYU Rudin Center for Transportation.
“Why do we have to let these kinds of people [ride]?” he said of Abrokwa. “That guy had 19 priors, had attacked subway riders and actually had a hate crime attack as one of them.”
Meanwhile, Minachem Minkowitz — the victim in the Sept. 9 attack whom Abrokwa spat on and threatened, “Come here, you f–king Jew, I am going to kill you” in Brooklyn — told The Post he was outraged that the repeat offender was back out on the street.
“The legislators with this bail reform, they are arming these people, these crazy people. They are the criminals,” he railed. “How many times are they going to let him walk?! Until what? Until he kills someone?”
“Any blood spilled from now on by this individual, it’s on their hands,” he fumed. “The judges, the legislature, all the bail reformers.”
Minkowitz said he was “disgusted” to learn of the vile act against the 43-year-old woman in the Bronx.
“I was up all night thinking about that poor woman,” he said.
He also said Abrokwa spat on him and “used it like a weapon.”
“But the worst weapon he used on me was to say, ‘You f–kin’ Jew, I’m going to kill you!’ The worst! C’mon!” he recalled. “My grandparents were slaughtered in the Holocaust! What are you doing?! What’s going on here?!”
Transit leaders have pushed for years for the power to ban recidivist criminals. In 2020, the state legislature added language to the penal code giving judges the authority to ban people convicted of sex crimes on transit from riding.
Liberal transit advocates believe banning people from transit is a distraction from the MTA’s mission to provide ample transit service.
“Running more trains is the most important thing Governor Hochul can do to make the subway safer and more welcoming this year,” Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein said in a statement. “Railing against people that we’re angry at won’t increase ridership.”
Adams, for his part, has for months demanded that Albany lawmakers allow New York judges to consider the “dangerousness” of a defendant when deciding whether to hold them on bail or release them from custody — a practice used in the country’s 49 other states and federal courts.
Currently, state law bars judges from setting cash bail in most misdemeanor and some non-violent felony cases. Jurists must also impose the “least restrictive” conditions to make sure defendants return to court.
Adams also supports altering New York’s Raise the Age legislation that increased the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, sending 16- and 17-year-olds accused of crimes to family court instead of criminal court.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan