Random attacks on minor celebs are just tip of a grim New York iceberg

Monday’s random attack on Z100’s Elvis Duran follows two other out-of-the-blue assaults in recent days that caught the public eye only because the victim has a modest media profile.

That’s a clear sign that such attacks are now going on all the time, but don’t make the news or any police report.

Why bother making a stink if there’s no hope cops can do anything about it?

Unless you have reason to think your story can penetrate, as with Duran, PBS journo Jane Ferguson and former state Senate candidate Maria Danzilo. 

Duran was the victim of a there-and-gone assailant who wielded a “sharp object.” 

Ferguson was slugged by a rando on the subway late last month.

Danzilo, too, says she was hit by a stranger while talking on the phone in Central Park.

None of them is so recognizable that the attack was personal: These were truly random attacks.

Imagine how many similar attacks must pass without any media attention.

For these three incidents to follow each other in such rapid succession, New York must host a significant population of weirdos who regularly snap at random strangers.

John Sarquiz with his mother.
John Sarquiz was struck unconscious and kicked in the head before being robbed in a seemingly random attack. He died Monday of his injuries.
Family photo

We’re lucky harm doesn’t result more often, but it’s the same factor that leads to subway-shovings and other horrors.

This week saw not one but two random punch attacks on the subway, directed not against mini-celebs but regular Joes (one an off-duty cop).

And just last week, John Sarquiz — who’s likely not widely known beyond his Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, neighborhood — was struck unconscious and kicked in the head before being robbed in a seemingly random attack.

Tragically, he died Monday of his injuries.

It’s another sign that the severe mental illness rampant on the city’s streets poses a continued public-safety threat.

Mayor Eric Adams’ drive to bring the severely troubled in for involuntary treatment is one decent response, as is Gov. Kathy Hochul’s move to build out psychiatric-bed capacity. 

But all the “advocates” who’ve spent decades fighting for the rights of dangerous people to roam the streets have a lot to answer for.

Until New York gets serious about treating these people, whether they like it or not, the threats of random violence is everywhere.

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