Report: Over 100 NY inmates freed amid COVID-19 re-arrested for crimes

Report: Over 100 NY inmates freed amid COVID-19 re-arrested for crimes

Police said 110 Rikers Island inmates have accounted for 190 arrests since NYC began releasing inmates in March

By Geoff Herbert
Syracuse Media Group

NEW YORK — More than 100 New York prisoners who were freed due to coronavirus concerns have been re-arrested, according to a new report.

Police tell The New York Post that 110 former inmates at Rikers Island have accounted for 190 arrests since New York City began releasing inmates in March to limit the spread of COVID-19 through NYC’s jail system. Roughly one in four arrests were for burglaries as NYPD reported a 43 percent spike in city break-ins over the past month; one alleged repeat criminal, Terrance Brown, is suspected of 18 burglaries at closed restaurants between April 21 and May 4.

According to the Daily Mail, some offenders were re-arrested for violent crimes. Jerard Iamunno, 36, was arrested Sunday on charges of robbery and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly mugging a 59-year-old man at knifepoint at an ATM in Harlem. He was released from Rikers six weeks earlier after pleading guilty to grand larceny and a drug-related offense.

Two weeks ago, Fox News reported Robert Pondexter, 57, was arrested April 25 for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman, 10 days after he was released from the NYC prison complex where he was being held on a separate rape charge.

Overall, the recidivists still only account for about 4 percent of the 2,650 inmates released between March 16 and May 6, according to data from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

Mayor Bill de De Blasio said in March that inmates chosen for release were serving less than a year in prison for misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. De Blasio said the focus was on prisoners who are older or have health issues that make them vulnerable to coronavirus.

High-profile figures released in New York over the past few weeks include President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine and former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos.

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©2020 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

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