Guardian Angels Warn NYC Is Returning to the Dangerous Days of the 80s as They Patrol

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The Guardian Angels have stepped up their patrols in Manhattan’s Chinatown after a brutal attack on an Asian woman that took place in broad daylight.

Members of the voluntary crime-fighting organization — easily distinguishable by their bright red berets — were pictured protecting the neighborhood in exclusive footage captured Thursday by DailyMail.com.

In recent months, violent attacks on Asians in the Big Apple have increased, while overall crime continues to rise.

“People can’t even eat out in New York City without fear that someone will harm them,” guardian angel Benjamin “EQ” Garcia told DailyMail.com during his daily patrol of the area.

His presence comes as a relief to residents of Chinatown who are reeling from the fact that a 55-year-old woman was randomly punched as she walked down bustling Bayard Street Monday afternoon.

Her attacker has been identified as serial criminal Alexander Wright, a homeless man who has made eight arrests in the past year alone.

Many have blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bail reforms for the crime spike, which has sent suspects straight back onto the streets even when arrested for violent crimes.

Garcia has volunteered with the Guardian Angels for 35 years and says it feels like New York City is returning to the 1980s and 1990s when shootings, murders and robberies were rampant.

“If this continues, this could be one of the worst summers ever,” Garcia predicted.

The Guardian Angels have stepped up their patrols in Manhattan's Chinatown after a brutal attack on an Asian woman that took place in broad daylight

The Guardian Angels have stepped up their patrols in Manhattan’s Chinatown after a brutal attack on an Asian woman that took place in broad daylight

Benjamin 'EQ' Garcia (right) and a fellow guardian angel are pictured on Bayard Street, where a 55-year-old woman was beaten by a serial criminal on Monday

Benjamin ‘EQ’ Garcia (right) and a fellow guardian angel are pictured on Bayard Street, where a 55-year-old woman was beaten by a serial criminal on Monday

The victim (in pink) is seen strolling past her own business before the man (in the orange hoodie and denim shirt) punches her in the face

The victim (in pink) is seen strolling past her own business before the man (in the orange hoodie and denim shirt) punches her in the face

This graph shows how serious crimes - including felonies and murders - have risen in NYC over the past 12 months

This graph shows how serious crimes – including felonies and murders – have risen in NYC over the past 12 months

The Guardian Angels is a non-profit organization that was first founded by Curtis Sliwa in 1979 when crime rates in New York City began to rise.

Good Samaritan volunteers patrolled the city’s sidewalks and subways to prevent violent attacks.

The volunteers became a comforting sight to nervous New Yorkers and were easily recognizable by their bright red berets and coats.

They became a fixture on the streets of New York City in the 1980s and 1990s when the crack cocaine epidemic led to an increase in robberies.

Crime in the Big Apple began to decline in the late 90s and 2000s under the mayors of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. In recent years, there has been a spate of articles about whether the Guardian Angels had become redundant because the city felt so safe.

But in the past 12 months, as crime started to ramp up again, the Guardian Angels are as relevant as ever, providing security to those too afraid to leave their homes.

“My wife doesn’t want to go out alone, even during the day,” Garcia explained.

He added that a number of lifelong New Yorkers he knows personally have recently decided to flee the city.

“They have kids and they’re leaving because they’re afraid something might happen to them, God forbid,” he said.

“It’s sad when you hear from women and the elderly that they are afraid to take the subway and want to leave the city.”

'My wife doesn't want to go out alone, even during the day': Garcia has volunteered with the Guardian Angels since 1986

‘My wife doesn’t want to go out alone, even during the day’: Garcia has volunteered with the Guardian Angels since 1986

Benjamin 'EQ' Garcia (right) and a fellow guardian angel are pictured on Bayard Street, where a 55-year-old woman was beaten by a serial criminal on Monday

Benjamin ‘EQ’ Garcia (right) and a fellow guardian angel are pictured on Bayard Street, where a 55-year-old woman was beaten by a serial criminal on Monday

Garcia has been a volunteer with The Guardian Angels since 1986 and says the violent attacks in recent months are different from those in the past in the city.

While many robberies in the 1980s and 1990s were linked to the crack cocaine epidemic, Garcia says there now appears to be an increase in indiscriminate assaults by people who are homeless and suffering from mental health problems.

“We need to give those people the help they need in the hospital,” he told DailyMail.com.

“Don’t just put them back on the street because they’re going to do the same thing or something worse.”

The crime rate — such as Monday’s in Chinatown — rose 35.3 percent in the past week compared to the same week in 2020.

The latest information from the New York Police Department’s CompStat website showed that the homicide rate last week was up 28.6 percent from the same week in 2020, with nine homicides in 2021 and seven in 2020.

Meanwhile, the overall serious crime rate rose 49 percent in the past week, with a total of 234 reported – 77 more than the 157 flagged by police for the same seven days in 2020.

Despite having a police station nearby, the Guardian Angels have increased their presence in Chinatown

Despite having a police station nearby, the Guardian Angels have increased their presence in Chinatown

Guardian angels are pictured on patrol around 1980 in New York City

Guardian angels are pictured on patrol around 1980 in New York City

The Guardian Angels (pictured in 2005) was launched during a period of rising crime in the Big Apple

The Guardian Angels (pictured in 2005) was launched during a period of rising crime in the Big Apple

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted that New Yorkers don’t feel safe in their own city.

‘We are building new projects, stimulating new business, but what comes before that is public safety, otherwise it won’t work.

“New Yorkers don’t feel safe and they don’t feel safe because crime rates are rising. It’s not that they’re neurotic or overly sensitive — they’re right,” he stated.

He added that police brutality — which Bill de Blasio agreed to last summer by taking $1 billion from the NYPD budget under pressure from BLM activists — was not the answer.

Meanwhile, outrage over De Blasio’s bail reform laws is growing after it emerged that the man accused on Monday has been arrested 41 times since his 17th birthday, including eight in the past year.

Police records reviewed by DailyMail.com show that Alexander Wright's first arrest was a robbery in September 1989

Police records reviewed by DailyMail.com show that Alexander Wright’s first arrest was a robbery in September 1989

During his arraignment Wednesday, prosecutors highlighted Wright’s most recent arrests by recommending a high bail to actually keep him behind bars this time, including an ongoing case in the Bronx from last July.

“In that case, the defendant is charged with punching a 72-year-old man in the face with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground,” William Darling, an assistant district attorney of Manhattan, told the judge. ‘In that case, the victim was treated in a hospital. He is currently released on his own admission. The defendant failed to appear in that case twice and was returned with warrants both times.”

“The defendant pleaded guilty to two violent crimes in New York County four days ago,” Darling continued, one in which he “threw a rock through a window, damaging the window, and minutes later, he grabbed a stranger by the face, scratched it.” victim’s face, resulting in cuts to his face and considerable pain.’

In the other case, “the defendant threw hot coffee into the faces and eyes of two traffic cops, causing redness and considerable pain.”

He went on to detail Monday’s attack, pointing out that Wright walked up to a complete stranger and “smashed her in the face with a closed fist so hard that her hat flew off her head, she fell to the floor and lost consciousness.” ‘.

Judge Angela Badamo agreed with the prosecution’s recommendation that the bail be set at $15,000 in cash.

Alexander Wright has been arrested 41 times since his 17th birthday in 1989 – eight of them in the past year alone, DailyMail.com has learned

Alexander Wright has been arrested 41 times since his 17th birthday in 1989 – eight of them in the past year alone, DailyMail.com has learned

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