A 16-year-old who brutally attacked a New York City policeman who confronted him over an unpaid subway fee will be tried as a juvenile and face rehabilitation instead of prison.
The teenager, whose name has not been released due to his age, had been arrested for two additional felonies in under four months, Fox News reported, yet Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office recommended the teen be released without bail and face family court. Bragg’s office also provided a statement to Fox defending the district attorney’s leniency.
“Our system must respond to children as children,” Emily Tuttle, a spokeswoman for Bragg, told the outlet.
“Violence against our police officers is unacceptable, and given his age at the time of arrest, we consented to send the second case to family court as soon as possible, where he would receive the age-appropriate interventions and supports he needs while being held accountable,” she continued.
Surveillance footage shows the teen punching the NYPD officer more than 20 times, using a chokehold, and slamming him against a metal gate. Just three days before the attack, Fox reported, the teen had been arrested and released without bail for allegedly attacking a stranger and robbing them. In April, the same teen had been arrested for possession of a handgun and crossbow. The DA’s office told Fox they were not aware of the weapons charges.
Under the state’s controversial criminal justice reforms, teens aged 16 and 17 who are charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies get their cases automatically sent to family court. Crimes that include violence or a firearm, however, can be kept in criminal court if the DA decides.
The leniency for the brutal beating comes after Bragg initially charged an NYC bodega worker who stabbed a man in self-defense.
Jose Alba, 61, was attacked earlier this month by 35-year-old Austin Simon while working in his Hamilton Heights bodega. During the attack, Alba grabbed a knife and stabbed Simon, who died of his injuries. Alba was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, but those charges were eventually dropped.
Bragg initially charged Alba following the incident, asking for a high bail that was eventually reduced so Alba could leave prison. Following mounting pressure, including from high profile NYC politicians like Mayor Eric Adams, Bragg finally dropped the charges against Alba completely, The Daily Wire reported.
Alba was also allegedly attacked during the incident by Simon’s girlfriend, yet she has not been charged for her actions.