New York City district Attorney Alvin Bragg is your prototypical soft-on-crime DA. Most of his felony cases get downgraded to felonies and he’s turned jail cells into revolving doors for bad guys.
And that was at the top of my mind when I learned the man responsible for stabbing two teenage tourists in Grand Central Station wasn’t exactly unknown to police.
This is what you get with a soft-on-crime DA, right?
And yeah, we can lay this one at Bragg’s feet.
The troubled attacker who allegedly stabbed two teen tourists at Grand Central Terminal on Christmas morning was cut loose by a Bronx judge just weeks earlier — despite a string of violent busts in recent months, The Post has learned.
Prosecutors wanted Steven Hutcherson, 36, to be committed to a psychiatric program for randomly threatening a stranger on a Bronx street last month, but Judge Matthew Grieco instead gave the career criminal a conditional discharge that put him back on the street, records show.
Less than two weeks after that Dec. 12 hearing, Hutcherson allegedly went off the rails at a restaurant in the historic Midtown terminal, launching into an anti-white rant and knifing a 14-year-old girl and her 16-year-old sister, visiting the city from Paraguay with their family.
“If the judge had only held this individual accountable two innocent tourists, children, may have had a Merry Christmas instead of an ‘attempted murderous’ Christmas,” a law enforcement source said Wednesday.
“Now this is [their] permanent view of New York City — almost being murdered.”
Hutcherson has a long history of mental health problems, so prosecutors wanting a psychiatric hold makes perfect sense. Had they gotten this, the stabbing might not have happened.
In other words, Bragg’s office actually didn’t drop the ball on this one, at least from first appearances.
More accurately, we know what they wanted had the potential to have prevented this from happening.
Two weeks before the Christmas Day stabbings, Hutcherson was back in court facing Grieco in a case stemming from Nov. 7, when he randomly came up to a man outside his job in the Bronx and threatened him.
Hutcherson pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
But Grieco, who was appointed to the bench by Mayor Adams in March after nearly 30 years in the court system, including serving as counsel to judges in Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, sentenced him to conditional discharge, over the objection of prosecutors.
And the charge not been pled down to the lesser charge–which seems to be Bragg’s go-to move as a district attorney–then Hutcherson might well have been incarcerated and been unable to have stabbed two teenage tourists.
Now, I’ll grant that they didn’t want him to walk, but when you downgrade the charges, you run the risk of that happening. I can’t help but think it signals that prosecutors don’t see someone like Hutcherson as being that much of a threat.
And, as a result, the a stabbing took place in one of the Big Apple’s most recognized landmarks.
It’s not all on Bragg, mind you. The judge also bears some responsibility, as does Mayor Adams, who ran on a law-and-order platform yet appointed a judge who seems willing to give a man with a history of mental illness and who threatened perfect strangers a walk.
In this case, it’s a stabbing. In all too many others, it’s a shooting, which is then used to justify intrusive, unconstitutional gun control measures that really only impact the law-abiding.
Even if you take guns out of the equation, you can still getting horrific results.
At worst, Hutcherson should have been in prison for his earlier threats. Instead, he was walking around, free to carrying out a stabbing that will forever be someone’s taste of America.
Brilliantly done, New York. Brilliantly done.