As soon as New York City directed everyone to start wearing masks if they have to go out in public it seemed like this was going to happen. When the order went out, I asked how long it would be before people would use surgical masks as cover to commit crimes without having their identity captured on camera or by witnesses. Well, it was only a matter of days before someone wearing a medical mask decided to sucker punch a police officer, thinking they could get away with it anonymously. The officer was in the process of taking a robbery suspect into custody. (NY Post)

A man wearing a medical mask was caught on camera sucker punching an NYPD officer in the Bronx Tuesday night as the cop’s partner was subduing a robbery suspect.

Nelson Jimenez, 31, launched his attack in front of a crowd of bystanders who had gathered on a sidewalk near 183rd Street and Davidson Avenue in University Heights to watch the arrest of 27-year-old robbery suspect Yoemdy Castro, law enforcement sources said.

One cop in the video can be seen holding Castro the ground, while another stands nearby, according to the footage.

Video of the attack was posted to the Twitter account of the president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association.

After the cowardly attack from behind, Jimenez is seen running down the street with the officer in pursuit. He was later found hiding in a bodega and taken into custody.

Perhaps what’s even more depressing is the fact that some of the people who were watching all of this unfold can be heard cheering for Jimenez and urging him to “run!” Support for the police officers who are trying to maintain order and ensure public safety in that part of the Bronx was almost entirely missing. You’ll also notice that only a handful of other people on the street were wearing masks while most were just mixing it up as if there wasn’t a pandemic sweeping the city.

Part of this story is obviously the reminder that there will always be scumbags out there who will take advantage of any situation, no matter how dire, for their own advantage. Many cities have been forced to ban the wearing of masks in public just to cut down on crime. This is particularly true of places with a large Antifa presence. When you relax or reverse those rules to try to ensure public health, this is the result we can apparently expect.

But the other lesson to take away from this incident is that the situation the NYPD is facing on the streets under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio is continuing to deteriorate. As long as you continue treating the police as part of the problem rather than the solution, respect for law enforcement in some of these neighborhoods continues to crater. And this is hardly the first time we’ve seen cretins like this guy being emboldened to the point where they will physically attack a police officer in broad daylight.

As if the pandemic wasn’t causing enough chaos as it is, we certainly don’t need this sort of civil unrest breaking out. Since Mayor de Blasio is so enthusiastic about issuing executive orders under a state of emergency and altering the basic rules of civil conduct, perhaps it’s time to temporarily suspend some of the rules about the police just breaking out the batons and knocking some opportunistic jackwagons around in the name of maintaining order.