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Outrage as repeat offender released next day after violent subway assault

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The release of a career criminal, Michael Crosland, following a disturbing subway attack in Brooklyn has reignited debate over New York bail laws, raising concerns about public safety and criminal justice reforms.

Crosland, 68, was apprehended on Sunday after assaulting a 39-year-old woman aboard a Q train at the Stillwell Avenue station, unleashing a seemingly unprovoked attack that left the victim shaken. Despite facing multiple charges, including assault, attempted arson, and disorderly conduct, Crosland was back on the streets the very next day due to the state’s bail eligibility criteria.

According to reports, Crosland repeatedly punched the woman in the shoulder and kicked her in the stomach, leaving her traumatized. The assailant then escalated the incident by setting papers on fire inside the subway car before igniting a blaze in a platform trash can, adding to the chaos and endangering commuters.

The victim, who requested anonymity, recounted the harrowing experience, describing how Crosland’s violent outburst caught her off guard as she was en route to the gym. “He came out of nowhere and started throwing kicks and punches,” she stated, emphasizing the severity of the assault.

Eyewitnesses corroborated the victim’s account, with one individual describing Crosland as “possessed” during the attack. The victim attributed her escape from serious injury to a heavy jacket she was wearing at the time.

Despite Crosland’s extensive criminal history, which includes over 25 prior arrests primarily related to drugs and unauthorized vehicle use, he was released on supervised release following his arraignment in Brooklyn court.

This lenient outcome underscores broader concerns about the effectiveness of bail reform efforts in balancing public safety with the principles of criminal justice reform.

Critics of New York’s bail laws argue that repeat offenders like Crosland pose a significant threat to public safety and highlight the need for stricter measures to address chronic criminal behavior. The decision to release Crosland has sparked outrage among community members and advocates for crime victims, reigniting calls for legislative reforms to ensure that violent offenders are held accountable and preventable crimes are averted.

The incident underscores the complex challenges facing law enforcement and policymakers in balancing the need for criminal justice reform with public safety imperatives, prompting renewed scrutiny of New York’s approach to bail eligibility and the handling of repeat offenders within the justice system.

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