New York City

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A man was charged with assault Saturday after allegedly kicking a 78-year-old woman in the face on a New York City subway as others watched on in early March.

Marc Gomez, 36, was arrested Saturday, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email. He was charged with multiple counts of assault and harassment.

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A community tip reportedly led to the arrest, according to a tweet from ABC 7 reporter Naveen Dhaliwal Saturday. (RELATED: Police: Two People Pretending To Be Officers Abduct Woman, Drop Her Off At Police Headquarters)

The elderly woman, who has not been identified, was treated for swelling, cuts to the face and bleeding after getting assaulted on the subway March 10 around 3 a.m. Video footage shows onlookers watching and yelling as she got hit.

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“It’s terrible,” an MTA worker said, the New York Post reported. “I can’t believe something like that could happen.”

It is unclear why Gomez allegedly kicked the woman.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Demort Shea said Gomez was in custody in a tweet Saturday.

“Thank you to the worldwide community for the tremendous assistance,” Shea tweeted.

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Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A man was caught on video kicking a 78-year-old woman in the face on a New York City subway as others watched on earlier in March.

The video shows others on the train filming with their phones and yelling.

“This is an extremely disturbing video,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokeswoman Amanda Kwan said, according to the New York Post on Friday.

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The New York Police Department (NYPD) told The Daily Caller News Foundation over email the incident occurred March 10 around 3 a.m.

“The individual is described as a male Black, approximately 40-years-old, 6’0″, 180 lbs., with a black goatee,” NYPD told TheDCNF. “He was last seen wearing a black jacket, black knit cap, long black and white checkered scarf, metal framed glasses, and black pants.”

Nobody immediately called the police, the Post reported. (RELATED: Police: Two People Pretending To Be Officers Abduct Woman, Drop Her Off At Police Headquarters)

“It’s terrible,” an MTA worker said, according to the Post. “I can’t believe something like that could happen.”

The woman was treated for swelling, cuts to the face and bleeding, according to NYPD.

This is not the first altercation that has occurred on or near a New York City subway. An MS-13 gang member was taken into custody in February after allegedly killing a man at a subway station.

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had no interest Wednesday in discussing the potential presidential candidacy of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Responding to a reporter’s question about de Blasio’s possible candidacy during a press conference at the New York Tenement Museum, Pelosi said, “I always say when somebody is serious about running, I’ll be serious about commenting on it. I think the mayor is serious about it.”

She added, “But when he makes his announcement, I’ll answer your question.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio at NYC Press Conf. 3/20/19 (Credit/The Daily Caller: Kerry Picket)

“Well-handled,” de Blasio said of Speaker Pelosi’s response.

The California Democrat made the remark as she stood with the mayor and Democratic members of the New York congressional delegation, who discussed and took questions about the Democrats’ new legislation known as the “Dream and Promise Act,” which is intended to give a pathway to citizenship to over 1 million illegal immigrants.

Regarding Pelosi’s comments about his interest in running for the White House, de Blasio shot back, “What Speaker Pelosi said, which I think is fair, is that she‘ll comment when someone is a declared candidate. I think that’s a fair statement.”

Mayor de Blasio has made multiple trips to the key early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire since he was elected mayor in 2014. During his most recent trip to Manchester, New Hampshire, this week, he was asked when he will decide if he will actually throw his hat into the Democratic presidential primary ring. (RELATED: Bill De Blasio Draws Six-Person Crowd In New Hampshire)

“Sooner rather than later,” the mayor said.

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Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

The White House is strongly condemning New York City after it says sanctuary city policies led to the release of an illegal immigrant who later bit off the finger of an ICE agent trying to apprehend him.

“New York’s dangerous ‘sanctuary’ policies are directly responsible for the egregious and violent harm suffered by this courageous ICE officer,” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement to The Daily Caller.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman explained to The Daily Caller that Dominican national Christopher Santos Felix “entered the United States on a visitor’s visa in June 2015, but failed to leave within the required timeframe.” Felix then racked up a litany of criminal charges, including driving while intoxicated, before he was arrested for assault by the New York City Police Department on Sept 29, 2018. (RELATED: NYC Council Passes ‘Abolish ICE’ Resolution)

The ICE spokeswoman continued that they requested a detainer be put on Felix so that he could be taken into federal custody, but as a result of New York City’s sanctuary city policies, he was then let go.

“On March 3, 2019, Santos Felix was arrested by ERO for immigration violations. At the time of the arrest, Santos Felix allegedly assaulted an ERO officer and is now facing federal prosecution,” the spokeswoman said.

ICE agent’s hand

The spokeswoman added, “the officer’s injury was the direct, foreseeable and entirely avoidable result of New York’s criminal alien sanctuary policies. Proponents of sanctuary policies claim they make communities safer, but in many cases they are causing more harm than good.”

The criminal complaint against Felix reviewed by the Caller notes that he attacked ICE officers after his handcuffs were temporarily removed so that he could put on some clothing. Officers quickly moved to secure Felix and while they were restraining him, he bit the officer’s finger.

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Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

An elite New York City high school that has a total of 895 spots in its freshman class accepted seven black students Monday.

Stuyvesant High School is a selective specialized school with the city’s highest cutoff for a test that allows students to gain admission into NYC’s specialized high schools, The New York Times reported Monday. The high school’s population is comprised of 74 percent Asian-American students.

Stuyvesant focuses on math, science and technology, according to the school’s website.

“We’re also once again confronted by an unacceptable status quo at our specialized high schools,” New York City Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We need to eliminate the single test for specialized high school admissions now.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a diversity plan that would make elite schools set aside 20 percent of seats for students coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds, The Washington Post reported.

He eventually wants to get rid of the SHSAT, but that would require legislative approval, according to TheNYT. (RELATED: USC Bars Students Possibly Linked To Admission Bribery Scandal From Registering For Classes)

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday to express her disdain for Stuyvesant’s low admission of black students.

“To only have 7 Black students accepted into Stuyvesant (a *public* high school) tells us that this is a system failure,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

NYCDOE’s statement to TheDCNF said 10.5 percent of offers to specialized high schools went to black and Latino students, comparable to 10.4 percent in 2018.

Stuyvesant accepted 10 black students in 2018, according to NYCDOE data.

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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may be getting criticized by some factions of the Democratic Party, but that did not stop New York Mayor Bill de Blasio from unexpectedly participating in an event Thursday hosted by the pro-Israel lobbying group.

The event, however, was not listed on the mayor’s daily schedule.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Politico first found photos on Twitter of the mayor with a group of women in front of an AIPAC banner. AIPAC then tweeted out praise and thanks to him for speaking before the group. (RELATED: De Blasio Declines To Endorse Capitalism And His Comms Director Loves It)

“Honored for @NYCMayor @BilldeBlasio to have spoken today @AIPAC meeting discussing anti-Semitism & the importance of a strong US-Israel relationship. Thank you for your #Progressive leadership on pro-Israel issues. Looking forward to seeing you in DC #AIPAC2019,” tweeted Jason Koppel, AIPAC’s northeast region’s political director.

New York City is home to around 1.1 million Jewish residents—this number exceeds any other area in the world, including in Israel. De Blasio was previously critical of allegedly anti-Semitic comments that Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar made, and has come out against the anti-Israel Boycott Divest and Sanction movement.  (RELATED: De Blasio Announces ‘Meatless Mondays’ To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions)

Nevertheless, the New York congressional delegation’s biggest star has also become one of AIPAC’s biggest opponents. New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising email last week claiming AIPAC was “coming after” her and some of her fellow freshmen members.

Mayor de Blasio was asked Friday by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer why his public schedule omitted the event.

“Well, first of all, this happened to be a house party that someone I know invited me to and it wasn’t clear I could make it until the very end. So that’s why it was – you know, a small event, not a big public event,”  he said.

De Blasio continued, “Any big public event, we obviously post. And look, I would say this, I believe as a progressive and as a Democrat, we have to address fundamentally, the challenge of anti-Semitism that’s very clear and alive in this city and in this nation and this world. We have to address Islamophobia equally.”

The only event on the mayor’s public schedule that was posted on Thursday was a 10:30 a.m. press-conference at the  Metropolitan College of New York about his administration’s plan to protect lower Manhattan from climate change.

Politico noted that de Blasio previously omitted from his schedule a pro-Israel speech he gave at an AIPAC conference in 2014.

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Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Mob boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, of the Gambino crime syndicate, was fatally shot outside his home in Staten Island Wednesday night, police sources said.

Cali, 53, was shot in the chest six times by an unidentified gunman who sped away in a blue pickup truck, reported The New York Daily News. Cali’s wife and children were inside his large brick home when it happened around 9:20 p.m., police sources told The New York Post.

He was declared dead at Staten Island University Hospital North. (RELATED: Old Rape Kits Got Tested, And Now A Lot Of Rapists Are In Jail)

Cali, who had Sicilian lineage, is part of a “resurgence” in mob activity and reportedly concentrated on the heroin and OxyContin trade, according to The New York Post.

The body of former mob boss John Gotti is carried from Papavero Funeral Home in the Queens borough of New York 15 June 2002. (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)

The body of former mob boss John Gotti is carried from Papavero Funeral Home in the Queens borough of New York 15 June 2002. (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Gambino crime family has been in the spotlight for years because of its high-profile former leaders, the late John Gotti and his son John “Junior” Gotti. The elder John Gotti grandson, also named John Gotti, was arrested on drug charges in the summer of 2016 in an investigation dubbed “Operation Beach Party.”

Cali is the first mob boss to be taken out since John Gotti Sr. orchestrated the assassination of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano in 1985, according to The New York Post.

It’s unclear whether Cali’s murder was carried out by a rogue actor or approved by other members of the Italian American mafia in New York City. Police sources described Cali’s murder as “disrespectful” because it happened right outside his family home.

Cali was “a real quiet old-school boss,” a police source told The New York Post. He only had one criminal conviction, for extortion in 2008.

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Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

There have been 64 new convictions in the past four years thanks to a Manhattan district attorney’s idea to use $38 million in forfeiture money to test old rape kits.

The initiative resulted in 55,000 rape kits being tested from 20 states, including at police departments in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Miami. Many of the kits sat untested for years.

New York City ended its backlog of untested rape kits more than a decade ago, but Cyrus R. Vance Jr. committed the millions seized from international banks accused of violating sanctions to help other jurisdictions, The New York Times reported Tuesday. He started giving out the money in 2015.

More than 9,000 of those kits matched with DNA profiles already in the system, resulting in new leads in cases like the one that led to a rape charge against Dandre Shabazz in Georgia. Police traced a 2003 rape of a woman at gunpoint in a park back to Shabazz, who is currently in prison for robbery. He has now been linked to 14 sexual assaults between 2001 and 2005, reported The Times. (RELATED: Sen. Martha McSally Says She Was Raped In The Air Force)

Giving the money to other jurisdictions helped close even New York City cases.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance (R) speaks at the podium as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Loretta B. Lynch look on with actress Mariska Hargitay (L) during an news conference in New York, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance (R) speaks at the podium as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Loretta B. Lynch look on with actress Mariska Hargitay (L) during a news conference in New York, Sept. 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

“We have solved New York cases with kits tested from Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia,” Vance said according to The Times.

Testing the rape kits has led to 165 prosecutions, including in rape-murder cases. The Times highlighted the case of Nadia Iverson, who was raped and murdered at the age of 20 in 1997. The initiative led to the arrest of former police officer Arthur Sewall, whose DNA matched her attackers. Sewall had already been convicted of using his position in law enforcement to force sexual favors from women, reported The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

An estimated 250,000 kits remain untested in the U.S. according to rape victim advocates cited by The Times. Vance’s initiative isn’t over. Jurisdictions will continue to report the results of rape kit testing funded by the initiative until September.

Vance has related the untested rape kits to the #MeToo movement.

“I believe fundamentally there was a gender bias at issue,” Vance said Tuesday according to The Times. “A crime mostly involving women was simply not viewed as important to solve.”

#MeToo reckonings have spread from Hollywood to the office and now to the halls of Congress. Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally shared that she was raped while she was a pilot in the Air Force during meeting on Capitol Hill earlier in March.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office tweeted out a set of guidelines Tuesday afternoon, instructing citizens on what to put in their toilet.

The tweet explains that there are “only four things” that should go in one’s toilet: feces, urine, vomit and toilet paper. They also warn that putting anything else in a toilet would result in “fatbergs.”

The city’s website defines fatbergs as “the masses of congealed grease and personal hygiene products that have been found lingering in sewers around the world.” (RELATED: De Blasio’s Office Kept Senior Staffer’s Exit Secret. It Turns Out He Had A String Of Sexual Harassment Allegations)

Explaining that the word is a combination of both “fat” and “iceberg,” the website goes to explain that “wet wipes—yes, even the ones that say ‘flushable,’ condoms, feminine products, paper towels (and all the other stuff) that you flush down your toilet enters our sewer system and mixes with the grease that you have poured down your sink.”

In an effort to help the city in another way, de Blasio announced Monday that all public schools will have “meatless Mondays” starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

In a speech in January, de Blasio reaffirmed his stance on banning the use of plastic straws in the city.

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Stephanie Hamill | Video Columnist

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Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) executive and Trump appointee Lynne Patton has completed her second week of living in residences sponsored and managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). She hopes to see firsthand the challenges residents face.

The HUD official has committed to a total of one month and is staying with a new family each week, but she’s technically not ‘sofa-surfing’, as has been crashing on her own blow-up mattress in each home.

Patton invited The Daily Caller into one of the family’s homes at the Patterson Houses in the Bronx so we could see for ourselves what NYCHA housing is like.

NYCHA has been under fire for lead-based paint poisonings, heat outages, leaks, mold and long waits for repairs and maintenance, among other things.

The issues, however, don’t appear to be new, as residents have been complaining about their living conditions for years.

Patton says this isn’t a funding issue, as the NYCHA is given $30 million per week by the federal government to take care of the needs of its 400,000 tenants.  (RELATED: Trump’s EPA Slaps NYC With Massive Fines For Unsanitary Public Housing)

She believes the money could be spent better and that people need to be held accountable.

So, the $30 million question is: Where is all the money going?

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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