Many New Yorkers were outraged this week to learn that the man accused of attacking a Bronx woman with human feces on a subway platform had been released on his own recognizance after being charged with a hate crime in connection to the incident.
In addition to the feces attack, Frank Abrokwa, 37, of the Bronx, is also facing hate crime charges connected to a separate incident in Brooklyn last September, as well as a theft in the Bronx and two misdemeanor assault cases in Manhattan.
Abrokwa reportedly laughed off the feces incident to police when he was arrested Tuesday, telling officers "s--t happens" and that it was a "s---ty situation." Yet, he only has to check in periodically with a supervised release office as his numerous court cases proceed.
As reports of disturbing subway crimes rise, New Yorkers complained that the city has been too lenient on Abrokwa, wondering why an allegedly violent offender has been set free multiple times, only to get in more trouble.
Mayor Eric Adams responded Thursday to residents' concerns, agreeing that Abrokwa's release "shows the scope of changes that we need to make in order to keep New Yorkers safe."
He added that Abrokwa's alleged behavior suggests "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."
Last September, Abrokwa reportedly accosted a Brooklyn man, cursed at him, threatened to kill him and then tried to punch him before chasing him down the street. The pair of assault cases pending against him come from two incidents this winter in Manhattan in which Abrokwa allegedly punched people on the streets without provocation.
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said Abrokwa's release "defies common sense."
Major transit crimes are up 30 percent week over week since Mayor Adams' subway safety initiative went into effect in February.