A man accused of tossing a wrench through Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s residence at St. Patrick’s Cathedral was cut loose Thursday in the case – and 14 other incidents – due to the state’s much-criticized cashless bail laws.
Velez is facing 14 counts of criminal mischief and one count of reckless endangerment, but the misdemeanor charges aren’t bail eligible, a rep for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told The Post.
PAY ATTENTION: Please help us grow! Follow us on Facebook ➡️ Click here! Don't worry we will tip you 😉💵
“We are also continuing to investigate this case to see whether any of the incidents were motivated by bias,” assistant DA Emilio Hernandez at the arraignment, according to prepared remarks.
It’s hardly the first time Velez was accused of going on a spree of kicking in doors and bashing windows and mirrors of parked cars – but he’s never been convicted. Velez had previously been accused of similar behavior — several times — but those cases were dismissed in misdemeanor mental health court after he completed counseling sessions, according to the DA.
“Given these circumstances, supervised release at the highest level and tier is the least restrictive means to ensure the defendant’s return to court,” Hernandez said.
But some critics are livid.
“Arraigned on 15 different incidents of vandalism today and now he’s walking the streets to do it again under Kathy Hochul’s bail laws,” a law enforcement source fumed. “If you can do this to the Cardinal’s house, I guess nothing’s off limits. That is unreal. What are his consequences? But this is what New Yorkers wanted. They voted her back in. ”
In a March 16 spree, Velez was caught on surveillance footage kicking in a glass door on Central Park South. He’s accused of kicking in other glass doors and windows, smashing a parked car mirror with a skateboard and throwing objects through doors and windows, according to the complaint against him.
In a Sept. 21 incident, he dropped a glass bottle over a second-floor railing at the Shops at Columbus Circle near “multiple people,” the complaint said.
Velez was seen on surveillance footage chucking the wrench at Dolan’s house on Oct. 28 at 12:25 p.m. The wrench broke the glass door and landed in a vestibule, authorities said.
“We are grateful for the hard work of the NYPD for the serious way they responded to this disturbing incident,” Joe Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said in a statement.
Velez is due back in court Dec. 13.