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Taser and knife-wielding madman with 10 priors released without bail by NYC judge

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Democrat-run cities in America continue to deal with a surge in violent crime, with officials always looking elsewhere to lay blame, as if their failed policies play no role.

Nowhere is this more apparent than New York City, which leads the way in releasing criminal suspects with no cash bail. So much so that city officials may as well install revolving doors at jail houses.

Just this weekend, a man wielding a taser and knife, described by the New York Post as a “madman who triggered a stampede in Washington Square Park,” was released on Sunday without bail because his lawyer claimed he acted in self-defense.

“It was self-defense. They were running at me. I have a knife on me for self-defense,” Jason McDermott claimed, according to prosecutors.

The Post reported that McDermott “allegedly brandished a Taser and knife during a squabble inside the park around 12:40 a.m. Saturday, sending the throng of revelers fleeing for safety and crushing one parkgoer in the process.”

A bloodied 43-year-old woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital with cuts, scrapes, and bruises after being trampled in the ensuing chaos. Photos were seen online showing blood pouring from the side of the woman’s head.

The victim can be seen in a Daily Mail video below. The British tabloid noted that she was “slashed in the face,” but there are conflicting reports on that claim.

The New York Police Department did not mention anything about the woman being cut in the face.

“Last night in Washington Square Park, a man began threatening a group of people with a taser disguised as a flashlight causing them to flee to safety. In the panic, a woman tripped and was injured. The suspect, who was also armed with a knife, was arrested by @NYPD6Pct officers,’ the NYPD tweeted.

McDermott, 42, was arrested in crime-plagued Washington Square Park very early Saturday, charged with menacing, reckless endangerment, and weapons charges.

His attorney, Damjan Panovski, told the judge his client was the victim.

“He was the subject of an attack,” Panovski said, according to the Daily Mail. “He has no criminal record whatsoever, no contact with the criminal justice system.”

As for his self-defense claim, whether Judge Abraham Clott bought it or not, he did release the suspect despite ten prior arrests.

Citing sources, the Post reported that McDermont had been arrested at least 10 times between 2010 and 2014, on charges that included “illegal use of utility devices and two violations of local law, as well as several sealed arrests.”

New York’s bail reform law took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and the new law, which was backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, eliminates cash bail for 90% of criminal cases, in as many as 400 criminal categories, according to PIX11.

To his credit, Judge Clott made it clear last year that his hands were tied during a case involving a suspect caught on a jailhouse phone talking about going back to Columbia when he got out.

“The legislature is rejecting pre-trial detention,” the judge said. “Plainly, when I had the power to make the decision, remand seemed obviously appropriate to me.”

Tom Tillison

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