What will it take for the city to finally address the clear danger posed by severely mentally ill walking city streets and haunting the subway?
An unhinged man tossed a woman onto the tracks at Times Square last Friday. Happily, she managed to get out in time — and police were able to quickly take Joshua Diaz into custody as the suspected shover.
He has a long and troubled history, arrested most recently for allegedly breaking into and sitting in the cars of strangers in Queens last month, on top of collars for burglary, assault and resisting arrest.
The long list of subway assaults — from the 64-year-old man shoved onto the tracks at Union Square in February, all the way back to the Kendra Webdale tragedy back in 1999 — is scary. The perp is almost always an unstable person with a history of bizarre, ever-escalating behaviors.
But Mayor Bill de Blasio and city officials continue to turn a blind eye to the problem. Asked about the latest incident and how he planned to address the city’s mentally ill homeless problem, de Blasio droned about the supposed success of the ThriveNYC program — which in fact is falling short of meeting its service-provision goals.
“I want to encourage anyone, if there’s someone in your life with a problem . . . call 1-888-NYC-WELL so we can get the help that you need,” the mayor said. Either no one called the hotline about Friday’s subway shover or Thrive failed again.
A real response involves ordering maximum use of Kendra’s Law — passed after Webdale’s killing — to get these people taking the medications they need or to keep them off the streets.
Stop endangering the lives of ordinary New Yorkers, Mr. Mayor.
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