A 50-year-old man was using an ATM Sunday when police say he was randomly attacked with a hatchet.
As CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reports, surveillance video show the 50-year-old Queens resident using the ATM machine inside a Chase bank on Broadway near Morris Street after 5 p.m., when all of a sudden he’s attacked repeatedly by a man with a hatchet.
Police say the suspect is 37-year-old Aaron Garcia, who has a criminal past.
No words were exchanged and no money taken, even after Garcia allegedly smashed the machines.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Chelsea resident Satya Polisetti.
The victim is at Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
Police arrested Garcia Tuesday night around 9:30 p.m. along 8th Avenue. The NYPD says he menaced someone that bumped into him with a hammer, and broke the windows of parked cars.
“It obviously makes me feel unsafe and on edge,” said Chelsea resident Matana LaPlae.
“It’s a shame. I notice a lot more violence in this city,” said Leon Toeroek.
A police source says Garcia was the subject of five previous emotionally disturbed person calls dating back to July 2020 and has been hospitalized before. And in Yonkers, police say he has eight prior arrests for stalking, harassment, and violating an order of protection. Police have an active warrant there for his arrest.
Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio there are initiatives to address those with serious mental illness.
“And ensuring that if we need those crisis teams, we have more of them available than ever before,” de Blasio said.
The Republican candidate for mayor criticized him.
“Where are they doing outreach? Who have they brought to a psychiatric facility? Who have they brought to renew the prescriptions these men and women desperately need?” Curtis Sliwa said.
“This horrifying attack is the result of multiple failures of a dysfunctional government that failed to protect an innocent New Yorker from unimaginable violence. This dangerous assailant must be found as soon as possible—but preventing these incidents — and not reacting to them — must be the immediate goal of law enforcement and our mental health services,” said Democratic candidate for mayor Eric Adams.
“This shows me that the criminal system is not a place that has ever been proven to be good to deliver these kinds of services, mental health services or social services,” said Cynthia Godsoe, a professor at Brooklyn Law School.
“Police, at this point, are only doing violent crimes and guns in New York,” said Hermann Walz of CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Garcia is charged with attempted murder and attempted assault.