NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A young family is recovering after being randomly slashed near Battery Park. Police say the suspect was out on parole. The youngest victim was in a stroller.
City officials told CBS2’s Ali Bauman on Thursday there is a pattern with these recent random assaults and hate crimes. Many of the suspects are homeless, mentally ill or recently incarcerated. Experts say the revolving door between prison and the shelter system is getting worse and finding solutions would make all of us safer.
Surveillance video shows a Hasidic couple walking near Battery Park with their 1-year-old on Wednesday evening when a man attacks from behind, slashing all three.
Police arrested 30-year-old Darryl Jones. He has 12 priors and was just released on parole in February after serving time for attempted murder.
WATCH: CBS2’s Ali Bauman Reports On Battery Park Slashing
According to the complaint, the couple’s 1-year-old child was also injured in the attack. The complaint describes the child as having a “puncture wound on the chin.”
Jones also allegedly admitted to police he had K2 on him.
Web Extra: Read the complaint (.pdf)
One day earlier, police arrested Brandon Elliot for stomping on a 65-year-old Asian woman in Hell’s Kitchen. He was living in a nearby homeless shelter after being released from prison on lifetime parole in 2019 for murdering his own mother.
“The parole system in New York state does not work. It takes people coming out of prison, dumps them in New York City with no plan, no housing, no job, no mental health support,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Right now, there are about 1,500 state parolees living in New York City shelters.
“The big challenge for people coming home we’ve seen just grow over the recent years is homelessness,” said Stanley Richards, vice president of the Fortune Society.
Richards’ nonprofit working with the formerly incarcerated. He said more than half of the people released on parole in New York City end up in the shelter system.
“The city, the state, the feds have been implementing policies that create pathways from prison into the shelter,” Richards said. “We need to go into a shelter first to be classified as homeless, in order to get any access to what might be available in a supportive housing.”
Matthew Shapiro, with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said setting parolees up with mental health services is crucial.
“In so many ways the jails and correctional system have replaced the antiquated asylums of yesteryear,” Shapiro said.
In a statement, the state Department of Corrections told CBS2, in part, “The mayor is clearly not informed. Each individual returning to their community has an individualized treatment plan,” adding if parolees can’t find housing they’re referred to local social services.
The city spends more than $250 million a year on its shelter providers.
“It’s gonna save us a lot of money in the long run, once we have people out of jails and prisons that we keep them out,” Shapiro said.
The state also told CBS2 parole officers help connect parolees with employment, mental health and substance abuse programs based on their needs.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer contributed to this report