After being released from prison for the sixth time since the beginning of the year, a New York City thief proudly praised the new law that made it all possible.
“Bail reform, it’s lit!” Charles Barry yelled to reporters last Thursday outside the NYPD Transit District 1 headquarters. Barry knew which party to thank for his good fortune, too. “It’s the Democrats! The Democrats know me and the Republicans fear me. You can’t touch me! I can’t be stopped!” he cried.
“I’m famous! I take $200, $300 a day of your money, cracker! You can’t stop me!” he shouted to reporters. “It’s a great thing. It’s a beautiful thing. They punk’ed people out for bull***t crimes.”
“I take $200, $300 a day of your money, cracker! You can’t stop me!” shouts Charles Barry after his 139th known arrest. He praises NY’s “bail reform” law, and the Democrats behind it. He’s accused of robbing Subway riders & numerous other crimes. https://t.co/HqVHgml1Ek
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 15, 2020
Barry, 56, has allegedly stolen hundreds of dollars from unsuspecting subway commuters since the Democrats’ outrageous “Bail Elimination Act” went into effect on January 1. The new law prohibits criminal courts in the state from setting bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, meaning petty criminals like Barry get promptly released from jail after each arrest.
According to Fox News, the lifelong criminal has served several stints in state prison. His record includes “six felonies, 87 misdemeanors and 21 missed court hearings,” according to court records.
After his most recent arrest Thursday, Barry was held in custody for about 36 hours until his Saturday morning arraignment hearing in his Manhattan Criminal Court. He was then released before trial without paying bail. He had two warrants out for his arrest for missing court dates related to past alleged subway theft, including one instance in January when he allegedly snatched a $50 bill out of a woman’s hand while she was trying to buy a Metro card at a Bryant Park station machine.
Officers arrested him Thursday after he was spotted jumping a subway turnstile in Penn Station. Barry, a career criminal, has repeatedly duped subway-goers by dressing as MTA officials and robbing people after offering to help them buy their tickets, police said.
Thousands of criminals in New York have been returned to the streets since the bail reform law went into effect.
A high-ranking official in the New York City Police Department told the New York Daily News that the law is dangerous because it allows offenders like Barry back out on the streets to possibly escalate their crimes against the public. begins as a nonviolent crime often turns violent if a robbery goes awry, he added.
“At least before, he’d be remanded and be behind bars for a couple of days. He wouldn’t be able to victimize people,” said Assistant Chief Gerald Dieckmann, the No. 2 officer in the NYPD’s Transit Bureau. “When someone doesn’t pay them or give them the money, it’ll turn into a robbery, a slashing an assault.”
The Legal Aid Society, which represents Barry, argued the NYPD is cherry-picking a few cases “to spread fear” over the new law.
“Mr. Barry’s case underscores the need for economic stability and meaningful social services, not a need to roll back bail reform,” the society said in a statement. “Locking up Mr. Barry on unaffordable bail or worse, remanding without bail, ultimately does nothing to protect the public and fails entirely to address his actual needs.”
But during an appearance on Fox and Friends last month, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin argued that the new law was already proving to be a dangerous disaster.
Zeldin, who represents much of Long Island, pointed out that the law was impacting the Trump administration’s effort to protect the public from the dangerous MS-13 gang.
“This focus from the President of the United States on down to the local law enforcement … they’ve had this great crackdown in the course of the last few years against MS-13. They all get released,” he said on January 18.
In one egregious case, a person with six felony conviction, six misdemeanor convictions and sic failures to appear, was released because of the law, and the prosecutor couldn’t even get the judge to agree to put an ankle monitor on him. That person went on the commit a fatal DWI hit and run, Zeldin said.
And in two high profile burglary cases in NYC, the culprits were allowed to go free under the new law, and of course went on to commit more burglaries, according to the congressman.
Zeldin said people in his district are furious.
“It’s not just happening once,” it’s happening multiple times,” the NY Republican explained. “Remember Hanukkah 2019? We had all these anti-Semitic assaults that took place around town,” he said.
Zeldin cited the notorious case of Tiffany Harris, the 30-year-old black woman who allegedly assaulted three Orthodox Jewish women in separate incidents over a span of ten minutes in Crown Heights on Dec. 27. At one, she point screamed “F–k you Jews” after smacking one of the victims in the back of the head, according to prosecutors. She was released on Jan. 1 without bail in that case.
Within a few days, the New York Daily News reported, Harris was right back at it.
Three days later, she was arrested again for another assault on a woman in Prospect Heights that also did not qualify for bail.
After a third arrest for missing a date with social workers, a judge committed Harris to a hospital for mental health evaluation. Harris has remained hospitalized since then, missing a court date on Jan. 22.
“Tiffany Harris was someone who was released and then went out and committed another violent, anti-Semitic attack. Released again. And then arrested again,” Zeldin said.
He noted that Mayor De Blasio had to finally step in because her repeated attacks on Jews were bad PR for the law.
Harris was finally hit with federal hate crime charges on January 28, which angered her lawyers.
“I am appalled that Tiffany Harris is being used as a scapegoat for the fear-mongering surrounding bail reform. Ms. Harris is quietly in the hospital getting the treatment she needs,” said Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, in a statement to the Daily News.
“She is not endangering anyone. Many members of the Jewish community have spoken out against the use of incarceration in her case, including one of the victims. I don’t know how this can be seen as necessary or even humane,” Schreibersdorf added.