Just what does it take to get a ticking-time-bomb thug off the streets? That searing question is prompted by news that the man charged with the murder of an EMT last week had no business walking free — yet officials failed to rein him in.
At just 25, José Gonzalez already had 31 arrests, including violent incidents, before his fatal run-in with EMT Yadira Arroyo. Reports also say he was a Bloods gang member.
Yet a Mayor de Blasio-tapped rookie judge, David Kirschner, still gave him a free pass — just three weeks before the fatal encounter.
The judge refused to grant a prosecutor’s bid for $5,000 bail on charges of resisting arrest and kicking out a police-van window. This, when Gonzalez still faced charges in an earlier assault case.
“You would think with 31 arrests the judge would have taken this a little more seriously,” an NYPD source said.
Gonzalez got a break in the earlier case, too: Bronx Judge Laurence Busching denied a prosecution request for bail of $2,000 after Gonzalez was charged in an attack on a worker at his homeless shelter.
The judges weren’t the only ones who let down New Yorkers. Police had sent Gonzalez for psychiatric care at least six times. He reportedly had a reputation for outbursts when off his medication. And he was staying in a “supportive shelter.”
Somebody at some point should’ve made sure he was confined, getting proper care or at least forced to take his meds.
“We don’t understand why [Gonzalez] kept getting released,” says Arroyo’s uncle, Edwin Rosado. “He should never have been let out of jail — especially if they’re saying he’s freaking nuts.”
The NYPD is doing its job — including dealing with emotionally disturbed persons. But cops seem to be the only part of city government that’s looking out for public safety.
And the result is tragic: a slain EMT hero — and five young boys now without a mom.