A New York City man accused of savagely beating a homeless man from behind with a baseball bat was swiftly released back onto the streets after posting $7,500 bail.
Karim Azizi, 36, was detained and accused of assault, attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon on Wednesday, after he was spotted on surveillance footage assaulting a 47-year-old man on Amsterdam Avenue and West 148th Street in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan on Tuesday.
The victim, a homeless person, suffered several injuries, which included “bleeding about the face and head, swelling about the back of the head, and a laceration about the front of the head,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the New York Post. The victim was taken to an emergency room in Harlem and found to be in stable condition.
A police source informed the Post that the attacker and his victim were involved in a verbal fight prior to the incident.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office requested Azizi's bail be set at $40,000; however, a judge set the bail at $7,500. The suspect was released on the same day he was arrested.
The high present crime rate has prompted city officials to advocate for a “dangerousness” clause to be added to the city's No Bail Law, which would allow judges more flexibility to hold violent offenders in jail, Fox 5 reported. The proposed law has been supported by Mayor Eric Adams (D) and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
Azizi's lawyer was critical of those calling for the provision, stating, “Ninety-nine percent of people who bail out… they make every court date, they never commit another crime again, in their lives, especially while they're out on bail.”
But the data shows that four out of ten suspects released from jail between January 2020 and January 2021 because of New York's No Bail Law were rearrested, Breitbart News reported. New York's No Bail Law was implemented in 2020 and ended the cash bail system for a variety of criminal offenses.
Although Azizi had to pay the money required to be released in contrast to not having to pay bail, the judge was criticized for setting the bail at a low amount for a suspect who was accused of committing a violent crime.
“$7,500 cash bail is really low,” Michael Alcazar, a former NYPD detective for more than 30 years, told Fox 5. “We caught him, we arrested him. We processed him, they release him. It’s just insanity.”
Alcazar added, “This is a dangerous person. You’re carrying around a weapon, like a bat, a knife, a gun, you’re a bad guy and you should stay in jail until the judge sees fit to impose whatever time you’re going to get.”
Azizi is scheduled to appear in court again on Monday, Fox News reported.