Adams blasts shitty justice system after fecal spreader released without bail

Mayor Eric Adams lashed out Thursday at the state’s lax criminal justice, legislative and social services system after learning of the perpetrator who allegedly smeared his own excrement on a woman’s face was released without bond – despite a lengthy criminal record.

Frank Abrokwa, 37, was arrested Feb. 28 for the Feb. 21 incident at the Bronx’s East 241 Street subway station. After making jokes about his shitty crime and insulting the judge, Abrokwa was released without bail pending trial, despite the prosecutor’s request to set bail at $5,000 cash or $15,000 bail.

Almost immediately after his release, he was re-arrested for a September 9 hate crime against a Jew in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Abrokwa has been stopped more than 20 times since 1999, including 22 unsealed and even more sealed arrests. And yet, Bronx Criminal Court Judge Wanda Licitra released Abrokwa on the city streets without bail.

“This individual should not be on the streets of New York and his release shows the magnitude of the changes we need to make to keep New Yorkers safe,” Adams said in a press release. “It is the result of a failing mental health system, a failing housing and support system and failing criminal laws that allow someone with a history of violence and who poses a clear threat to public safety just get out of court. We cannot allow this horrible situation to remain the status quo and we must make changes to our laws both to prevent these types of attacks, through intervention and support, and, when they do occur, to subsequently keep people who clearly pose a danger to others off the street.

Following Adams’ statement, PoliticsNY reached out to some of the top city and state government officials to ask what laws need to be changed to avoid situations like Abrokwa’s.

A spokeswoman for Governor Kathy Hochul (D) referred PoliticsNY to four previous press releases from the governor’s office on the topics of mental health, homelessness and housing inequality.

“For too long, our mental health system has suffered from disinvestment, and the pandemic has only made it harder for New Yorkers with serious mental illness who find themselves homeless,” Hochul said. in a press release. February 18 press release sent to PoliticsNY regarding increased funding for psychiatric beds and professionals in hospitals. “I am proud to stand with Mayor Adams and share our efforts to boost mental health treatment services for those without stable housing and bring more psychiatric beds online. We must work together to keep our subways – the lifeblood of New York City – safe for all riders, and to get help and services for those who need it.

The plan discussed in the release primarily relates to hospitals, but also includes “$12.5 million per year for 500 additional beds in supportive housing to house homeless people in their communities.” The objective of this plan is to get homeless people out of the subways and streets into shelters.

A request for proposals has also been issued by the state Office of Mental Health to create “Safe Opinions Support Teams”, which Hochul announced in his state of the state address. Teams will include clinicians, nurses, social workers and behavioral health specialists on the ground in subways and the streets to work with homeless and mentally ill people.

However, none of the press releases provided by the state spokesperson touched on the topic of bail reform, which is arguably the most direct and immediate way to impact this kind of situations, like with Abrokwa.

Licitra, the judge in the poop-smearing case, could have held Abrokwa under July 1, 2020 bail legislation. The legislation prohibits courts from granting bail for certain crimes, for those deemed to be “repeat offenders” – which seems to describe Abrokwa – cash bail can be set for any type of crime.

Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said the mayor wanted to make sure judges consider whether or not someone is dangerous before letting them back out onto the streets, as the other 49 are doing. States.

“The mayor has been clear that public safety is his top priority, but it’s not just his agenda, it’s New York City’s,” Levy told PoliticsNY. “Three out of four city residents want action on crime, so we are taking action to achieve it. It’s time we all worked together to keep New Yorkers safe. »

The offices of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D – Bronx) and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Steward-Cousins ​​(D – Yonkers) did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

At the time of his arrest for the fecal matter assault, Abrokwa’s address was listed as 760 East 160 Street in the Bronx, but when he was re-arrested, his address was listed as Ana’s Place Men’s Shelter. 4380 Bronx Avenue, also in the Bronx.