Some New Yorkers have had enough of their city becoming worse than Gotham City.
The Guardian Angels pounced on a subway rider who was assaulting an elderly woman in the Bronx on Saturday, according to Curtis Sliwa, the group’s founder.
The incident happened about noon on a D train at 167th Street, when three Guardian Angels saw a man and woman yelling at the elderly straphanger, Sliwa said.
“The man reaches out and smacks her multiple times,” he said. “The Guardian Angels, three of them, jump the guy.”
NYPD officers, who were at the station, arrested the man, but he was released on a desk appearance ticket, Sliwa said.
The same trio of Guardian Angels about an hour earlier Saturday saw an emotionally disturbed man holding a baby and yelling at a female passenger, who was a stranger, on board a 4 train at 138th Street in the Bronx, according to Sliwa. He said the Angels escorted the woman to another car.
“It’s just nonstop. The emotionally disturbed persons are the problem here,” said Sliwa, who founded the crime prevention group in 1979.
The NYPD could not immediately provide information on the arrest.
The Guardian Angels is a non-profit group first established by Curtis Sliwa back in 1979 as crime rates began to soar across New York City.
Volunteers of Good Samaritans would patrol the city’s sidewalks and subways in a bid to help prevent violent attacks.
The volunteers became a reassuring sight to nervous New Yorkers and were easily identifiable by their bright red berets and jackets.
In the 1980s and 1990s they became a fixture on New York City streets as the crack cocaine epidemic sparked a rise in muggings.
Crime in the Big Apple began to drop in the late 90s and into the 2000s under the mayorships of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. In recent years, a spate of articles were published wondering whether the Guardian Angels had become redundant because the city felt so safe.
But in the past 12 months, as crime has started to surge again, the Guardian Angels find themselves as relevant as ever, providing safety for those who are too afraid to leave their homes.
‘My wife doesn’t want to go out on her own, even during the day,’ Garcia explained.
He added that a number of lifelong New Yorkers that he knows personally have recently decided to flee the city.
‘They have children and they’re leaving because they’re afraid something might happen to them, God forbid,’ he stated.
‘It’s sad when you hear from women and from elderly people that they’re afraid to take the subways, and they want to leave the city.’
Garcia has volunteered with The Guardian Angels since 1986, and says the violent attacks in recent months differ to those that occurred in the city in the past.
While many muggings in the 1980s and 90s were linked to the crack cocaine epidemic, Garcia says there now appears to be an increase in random assaults perpetrated by those who are homeless and suffer from mental health issues.
‘We need to get those people the help that they need in the hospital,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘Don’t just release them back into the street because they’re going to do the same thing or something worse.’
Felony assaults – such as the one that occurred in Chinatown on Monday – were up 35.3 per cent in the past week when compared with the same week in 2020.
The latest information from the New York Police Department’s CompStat website showed murders were up 28.6 per cent last week over the same week in 2020, with nine homicides in 2021, and seven in 2020.
Meanwhile, serious crime overall was up 49 per cent over the last week, with a total of 234 reported – 77 more than the 157 flagged to cops for the same seven days in 2020.