A 73-year-old woman was punched on a subway platform in the Bronx. This didn’t catch much interest for lack of a video, but assuming it happened, it doesn’t fit the narrative.
A 73-year-old woman was punched in the face by a stranger on Wednesday night while standing on a subway platform in the Bronx, sources said.
The Queens woman was on the platform of the D line at the 174 street station at about 7:20 p.m. when a man attacked her before fleeing the scene, according to law enforcement sources.
The victim was taken to Bronx care hospital with pain to her face. The suspect was described as a man in his 20s.
But when 31-year-old Rashid Brimmage allegedly punched a 92-year-old woman walking on 16th Street near Gramercy Park at 3:30 in the afternoon, it was caught on video.
What sort of person does such a thing?
He’s schizophrenic, has 103 arrests to his name and there’s no evidence the city’s mental-health apparatus has helped him. Now the “career criminal” charged with shoving a 92-year-old woman onto the ground and into a fire hydrant is finally off the streets and being held on bail as he faces prison.
Could he have been saved with better mental health services? Maybe, but you can’t make someone take their meds and we no longer force people into asylums against their will unless they pose a serious risk of harm to themselves or others. All the services in the world only work to the extent people want them to work. Much of the time, they don’t.
Part of the problem is that people who are mentally ill don’t make the wisest choices for themselves. Or the wisest choices when dealing with others, such as randomly punching an elderly woman while walking down the street.
The narrative, that we don’t need cops because cops can’t be trusted not to escalate, shoot and kill, has its merits, as reflected in hundreds of videos showing police behaving no better, and often worse, than these punchers. But it’s unsustainable to ignore that things like this happen, that some people are going to do harm to others, and the victims of their actions are no less worthy of some protection and someone to arrest the perpetrator.
Human behavior doesn’t fall neatly into ideological paradigms, with facile solutions caught between one side or the other. Geraldine, the 92-year-old woman, didn’t do anything to deserve being punched. No social justice lecture changes the fact that this guy punched her, and no fantasy that showing empathy to the marginalized will prevent some random guy from punching a 73-year-old woman on a subway platform in the Bronx.
Bad things happen. Pretending otherwise is not an answer.