Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday blamed New York state’s parole system after a parolee who was previously convicted of murdering his own mother allegedly attacked an Asian woman in Midtown.
“The parole system in New York state does not work,” de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing, claiming it “takes people coming out of prison, including folks who have committed violent crimes, dumps them in New York City with no plan, no housing, no job, no mental health support.”
Brandon Elliot, 38, was living in a city-run homeless shelter at a Midtown hotel when was busted Wednesday for the vicious attack on a 65-year-old woman Monday.
But De Blasio — whose own administration’s failings on mental health services have come under fire in the wake of violent attacks by homeless people — pointed the finger at frequent foe Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the very same thing.
“It’s time to hold the state of New York responsible for their parolees and for actually providing the services that will give us a chance of avoiding these horrible situations,” he said.
“Now may be that the imperial governorship is being challenged, that we’re going to see a different discussion on this topic,” de Blasio added in a slight to Cuomo, who has been embroiled in scandals involving allegations of sexual harassment and COVID-19-related nursing home deaths.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Wednesday also blasted the practice of releasing parolees into the under-resourced homeless shelter system in the wake of the assault.
“When you’re releasing people from prison and you’re putting them in homeless shelters, you’re asking for trouble,” Shea said on Pix 11. “There’s got to be a safety net and there’s got to be resources for them.”
Police allege Elliot was caught on surveillance footage kicking and stomping on the woman in front of an apartment building on W. 43rd Street in Hell’s Kitchen, shouting anti-Asian slurs and yelling, “F—k you, you don’t belong here.”
Elliot was charged with murder in 2002 for stabbing his mother in the chest three times with a kitchen knife in their Bronx home.
Elliot pleaded guilty to second-degree degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life.
He was denied parole in February 2017 and December 2018, but was approved for release in September 2019 and released on lifetime parole two months later, a state Department of Corrections official said.