Frank Abrokwa, suspect accused of shoving feces into woman's face, has more than 40 prior arrests, police say
NEW YORK -- A man arrested this week in a disturbing crime now faces hate crime charges from another incident last year. But it doesn't stop there.
CBS2's Nick Caloway asked why Frank Abrokwa, who has been arrested more than 40 times, is back out on the streets.
Police said Abrokwa spat on a Jewish man and made anti-Jewish statements on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights last year. Abrokwa, 37, was finally arrested this week. But it was not the first time.
Cops said he committed the disgusting crime of shoving human feces into a woman's face at the East 241st Street station in the Bronx.
Straphangers were still grossed out an afraid Thursday.
"It's serious. It's dangerous," said Elizabeth Staton.
The feces attack happened Feb. 21. The next day, Abrokwa was allegedly caught shoplifting at a hardware store a few blocks away. Employees said they tried to stop him, but he threatened them with a screwdriver.
"If he was to approach him, you know, God forbid, who knows what would have happened," one person said.
In all, Abrokwa has more than 40 arrests on file. He's out on supervised released for the hate crime incident in Crown Heights.
The Brooklyn District Attorney said that's the most he could ask for under bail reform. According to the city, supervised release provides community-based supervision pre-trial.
Jennifer Harrison with Victims Rights NY said the amount of supervision varies widely.
"In my eyes, supervised release really is nonexistent. I mean, Christina Lee's murderer was on supervised release. He was living in a homeless shelter and that didn't protect her," Harrison said.
Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College and former NYPD sergeant, said the revolting attack at the subway station should trigger action in Albany to amend bail reform.
"People are really concerned about crime, and unfortunately that has fallen on deaf ears," Giacalone said.
Mayor Eric Adams released the following statement --
"This individual should not be out on the streets of New York and his release shows the scope of changes that we need to make in order to keep New Yorkers safe. It is the result of a failed mental health system, a failed housing and support system, and failing criminal justice laws that allow someone with a history of violence who poses a clear threat to public safety to just walk out of court. We can't allow this horrific situation to be the status quo and must make changes to our laws to both prevent these sort of attacks, through intervention and support, and, when they happen, to subsequently keep people who are clearly a danger to others off the street."
MTA chair and CEO Janno Lieber also released a statement --
"I'm not a criminal justice expert but I don't understand how someone who commits this kind of assault - which was violent, horribly victimizing a transit rider - can just walk free even when he has four other open cases against him, including two other transit assaults and a hate crime charge. It defies common sense."
Police said Abrokwa faces several charges, including assault, menacing and harassment.
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