A New York City Police Department officer is in critical condition after being savagely beaten in a mugging attack on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported.
Officer Muhammad Chowdhury, 48, was jogging on Tuesday in the Bronx, New York City when he was accosted by three assailants, the Daily News reported. They reportedly stole his wallet and cell phone before kicking and punching him on the sidewalk. He was left unconscious following the attack.
Passersby noticed Chowdhury lying on the sidewalk and called 9-1-1. He was admitted to the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he was found to have a fractured skull and internal bleeding in his brain.
After being treated overnight for his injuries, Chowdhury regained consciousness, and is able to speak with his wife and doctor, said Jamil Ahmed, his nephew told the Daily News.
Chowdhury is an 18-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the NYPD’s Patrol Bureau in the Central Park Precinct of Manhattan. His identity as a police officer was discovered after he failed to arrive for his shift.
He was off-duty and unarmed at the time of the incident, according to the Daily News.
Police believe that Chowdhury was attacked by a group of three men responsible for 20 other carjackings and muggings in New York City’s boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. Each incident has been accompanied by violence against the victims.
NYPD believes these 3 men are responsible for 19 attacks/robberies.
One of their victims, an off-duty cop out jogging..now fighting for his life.
When will the madness end!? pic.twitter.com/wUZluRsSSi
— Lidia Curanaj (@LidiaNews) August 24, 2022
The incident comes as crime rates in New York City have experienced a historic rise over the summer of this year. In July, the NYPD announced that crime had increased 31.1 percent over the same month in 2021. Though the city’s murder rate declined by 31.6 percent, other serious crimes experienced significant increases – including rape (2.9 percent), felony assault (17.3 percent), robbery (31.6 percent), and grand larceny (41 percent).
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has attributed the rise to repeat offenders, who have not been incarcerated due to lenient bail policies passed by the state legislature in 2019. Those policies included eliminating the requirement of cash as bail, mandating citations instead of confinement for low-level offenses, and allowing judges to release indictees from pre-trial incarceration without any conditions.
Moreover, unlike all 49 states and U.S. territories, in New York, judges are not allowed to consider the harm defendants may pose to others when setting bail.
“Our criminal justice system is insane,” said Adams on Aug. 3, when speaking about bail laws. “It is dangerous, it is harmful, it is destroying the fabric of our city.”
Chowdhury’s wife told the New York Post that bail reform would fail to bring justice for her husband’s attack. “You cannot let these men out the same day that they are arrested,” she said. “If they release them the same day, that is not justice for my husband.”
Crime is “out of control,” Chowdhury’s nephew Ahmed said. “Police officers are our public servants and protectors – if they are getting attacked, how are we safe in this city?,” he told the Daily News.
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