Manhattan DA Bragg, under fire for soft-on-crime policies, announces arrest and charges in string of assaults and robberies

April 20, 2023
Ben Marquis

Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been credibly accused of implementing soft-on-crime policies and generally ignoring the victims of crime in New York City to instead focus on his overt partisan vendetta against former President Donald Trump.

It appears that Bragg actually did his job as a prosecutor this week in announcing the arrest of and criminal charges against a suspect in a string of assaults and robberies that included at least two deaths, the Conservative Brief reported.

Whether that action will effectively counter or quell the rising tide of bipartisan criticism against the progressive prosecutor is an entirely different story, however.

Arrest made, charges filed

New York's Gothamist reported on Tuesday that DA Bragg and other Manhattan authorities held a press conference to announce the arrest of a man named Jayqwan Hamilton for his alleged connection to a series of assaults and robberies, predominately targeting gay men outside of gay bars, that occurred between Sept. 2021 and Aug. 2022.

Hamilton, along with four other accomplices who were arrested earlier this month, now face a slew of criminal charges that include "murder, robbery, conspiracy, and multiple counts of both identity theft and grand larceny," per the outlet.

Their scheme involved approaching men as they were leaving bars and offering them illicit drugs, including fentanyl and cocaine, and then gaining control over their phones to transfer money from the victims' bank accounts to their own.

At least two of their alleged victims, Julio Ramirez, 25, and John Umberger, 33, ultimately died in 2022 from overdoses attributed to the concoction of drugs they were given.

Bragg says he has "no tolerance" for violent assaults and robberies

During the Tuesday press conference, DA Bragg said, "Their motive -- we allege -- was simple: to make money. They approached people leaving bars and nightclubs late at night, engaged them in conversation, and offered them illicit and dangerous substances."

"I cannot imagine how painful it is for the families of Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Umberger," he continued. "My thoughts continue to be with them. It’s my sincere hope that today will bring some solace in the fact that our investigation has now led to these charges."

The Manhattan prosecutor added, "This investigation sends a clear message that we have no tolerance for this kind of dangerous and deadly conduct."

Timing is awfully coincidental

The Conservative Brief couldn't help but notice the rather coincidental timing of this press conference in which DA Bragg portrayed himself as being a tough prosecutor with "no tolerance" for violent crimes in his jurisdiction.

That is because, just one day prior to the announcement of a long-overdue arrest and charges for Hamilton and his accomplices, the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee held a field hearing right in the heart of Manhattan that was focused on the victims of crime under Bragg's leadership.

Indeed, witness after witness testified of they or others were victimized in some fashion but had found little or no justice served by Bragg's office, which instead seemingly played nice with criminals by often requesting low or no bail and by frequently reducing violent felony crimes to non-violent misdemeanors -- if any criminal charges were brought at all against repeat offenders.

As noted, it remains to be seen whether this move to actually arrest and charge the alleged assailants in the series of assaults and robberies and murders will actually help Bragg avoid the justifiable criticism he has received or merely be dismissed as a lame effort to distract the public from his own failures.

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