WE NEED A NEW FOCUS ON THE MENTALLY ILL
I heard both the new governor and the new mayor mention in speeches that homeless issues and affordable housing are top priorities. But there also really needs to be renewed focus on the mentally ill. There are no places for them to be housed and to get the care that they need, as you know, now that the state closed most of their facilities long ago. There are not enough resources to help them throughout the state and particularly in NYC.
Back in November I was attacked on First Ave. and 89th St. by a mentally ill individual who has been terrorizing our Upper East Side/ Yorkville neighborhood - basically 86th to 91st/Second Ave. to the East River (including Carl Schurz Park). I wasn’t hurt but was certainly upset.
He continues to harass, push/punch/kick and spit on people, kick in business doors and has been arrested several times, always returning to the streets a few days later.
The 19th Precinct has a long list of complaints about him, has made several arrests and has been called on numerous times, including as recently as Monday Jan. 3 when they were called to the CVS at 86th and Second Ave. when he accosted a woman entering the store. (He often hangs out in the vestibule at that store). The police know all about him and must be as frustrated as we are that he keeps getting released back to the streets.
He usually focuses on women, but now he has also begun to harass men. This is just an unacceptable way for our neighbors to live, always looking over our shoulders and trying to avoid this man when we see him. My building even put up a photo and a warning to be careful.
The city and state need to be able to do something for these people who are emotionally challenged and who are walking our streets, terrorizing our denizens. As much as we need affordable housing, this alone is not a solution to help those with mental health issues.
He really will end up hurting someone or someone will end up hurting him in self-defense.
Again, I hope the state and city can seriously address these issues and help people like him and help us have a better quality of life in the city. I know there are no easy solutions but something has to be done.
Upper East Side
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Great Neck, NY