NYPD makes first arrest in brutal ‘bike gang’ attack in Manhattan
A 15-year-old from Queens has been arrested as part of the bicycle-riding gang in New York City that was videoed committing a vicious broad-daylight attack on an upscale SUV.
The teen has not been identified because he is a minor. But New York cops believe he is one of six who smashed Max Torgovnick’s BMW in the middle of Fifth Avenue on Tuesday. Overall, police say about 25 people were involved in the attack, according to The New York Post.
Social media video of the incident showed the young men pounding on the car and kicking it while and yelling at the Torgovnick, whose elderly mother was in the car with him. The pair had just dropped off a donation at a charity serving the homeless when the violence erupted.
Torgovnick told the Post he encountered the gang as he drove his mother to his father’s office. Besides pounding on the car, one assailant smashed the Beamer with his bike, while another jumped on the hood and nearly kicked in the windshield.
“She was screaming, ‘We’re going to die, they’re going to kill us,’” he recalled to the Post.
“It’s something that I never expected to happen in New York City,” Torgovnick, a lifelong New York City resident, added. “That’s something like you would see on the streets of a war zone. I never thought New York would get this bad.”
“Typical day in New York City!” one Twitter user tweeted along with the video of the attack.
— NY Actions (@NY_ACTIONS) December 30, 2020
On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that crime surged in the Big Apple this year.
Transit thefts and hate crimes dropped, the paper noted, which were the bright spots.
New York posted the highest number of murders it’s recorded in nearly a decade, the Times reported, as other violent crimes – nonfatal shootings, robberies, burglaries, car thefts – were all up significantly.
“I can’t imagine a darker period,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told reporters in a briefing held Tuesday
The Times attributed much of the violence to COVID-19 and related shutdowns, as well as gang beef. Incredibly, the Times’ lengthy article doesn’t mention Mayor Bill de Blasio or his criticism of the NYPD this year as having an effect on law enforcement. And the Times notably steered clear of using the term “defund the police,” which de Blasio supported. Instead, the Times referred to many departments, including New York’s, “to slice budgets and redirect funding to community programs.”
If this New York City bike gang were Orthodox Jews instead of other minorities, Bill De Blasio and Cuomo would have NYPD on high alert. Instead, no one will be charged or punished https://t.co/xSO4Kq8DmF
— ultrapurwater (@ultrapurwater) December 31, 2020
Near the end of the article, the Times did include one source who talked about the effect the Black Lives Matter protests, the criticism, the budget cuts and the uptick in violence have had on cops’ morale.
“Cops are kind of tiptoeing around. They’re not as proactive, they’re not as aggressive. They’re not doing their job as well as they normally do,” Christopher Herrmann, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, told the Times. “Obviously that adds to the anonymity aspect of being a criminal.” But, he added, the factors of the pandemic and the backlash against the department — budget cuts, shorter staffing and sick colleagues — had probably hurt officers’ morale.
At least Torgovnick had a good experience with police after the brutal and frightening attack on his vehicle.
“The cops were unbelievably comforting,” he told the Post.