Most New York Thing Ever

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In a city with over 8 million people (plus millions more in the suburbs), you can expect a lot of…very human…interactions.

In small towns most things make sense. Smaller places aren’t idyllic, but they tend to be understandable. In big cities, the unusual is to be expected every day.


The tale of the New York City Subway “vigilante” is a perfect example of the absurdity of city life, especially in a city run by whacko liberals.

To set the stage: a woman evaded the subway fare, making her a less-than-perfect citizen. Ms. Fare Jumper gets shaken down by Mr. Homeless Person, who proceeds to stalk her seeking a payoff. He begins to steal her purse.

A third man, John Rote, decides to defend Ms. Fare Jumper pulls a gun and fires a warning shot, scaring the homeless stalker shakedown artist off.

All hell breaks loose, and of course, the bad guy is the Good Samaritan.

“I want to be clear: We don’t tolerate this kind of conduct in NYC Transit, period,” said city Transit President Richard Davey after Rote was arrested. “Once again cameras recorded a perpetrator, and we are grateful the NYPD made an arrest within hours. Thank goodness nobody was hurt here but what occurred was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable.”


Do they tolerate homeless stalkers? Of course they do. Do they tolerate fare jumpers? Ever since Broken Windows policing was tossed aside by Mayor DeBlasio they have been very happy with it.

But defending a woman in distress? “We don’t tolerate this kind of conduct in NYC Transit, period.”

Now I agree that societies shouldn’t depend on vigilantes to keep order, and that when they do things get worse quickly. Having average citizens shooting weapons in enclosed spaces is hardly an ideal way to maintain order. People can get hurt, and I personally wouldn’t fire a weapon in a subway station unless circumstances were dire.

But there is a reason why such things happen: the government, charged with maintaining order, is failing to do so.

How do I know this? Even the people in charge of NYC Transit will tell us so. As usual, the homeless man was a known wolf and tolerated despite his being a bad actor:

Roesch, 49, had a single prior arrest on a September theft of service charge in a different station and was living in a homeless shelter near Bellevue Hospital. police said.

But NYPD Inspector Steven Hill, head of Transit Borough Manhattan, described Roesch as “a swiper” known for holding the emergency gate open in return for a tip. The defendant was “a constant problem,” said Hill.


So he was a criminal whose way of life was shaking down people–a “constant problem”–and little was done. It is just the way things are in New York City.

So when he threatens a woman the bad guy is the knight in shining armor. Constant problems are a way of life; people objecting need punishment.

Rote, a veteran Panavision shipping department employee, was ordered held on $10,000 bail at a Manhattan arraignment, with Judge Jay Weiner ignoring a defense call for his release. Attorney Marie Calvert-Kilbane said he was a 17-year city resident, adding the weapon involved was legally purchased 13 years ago. Roesch was turned loose under court-ordered supervision.

This case mirrors that of Daniel Penny, who is getting crucified for the death of a madman who threatened an entire subway car. That he was forced to intervene is the crime, not what he did. Regardless of whether he handled it perfectly–it would be far preferable if the mentally ill man had survived–what is unforgivable is that a civilian was forced to intervene.


Law enforcement will never be perfect, and citizens will always be forced into positions where they must make split-second decisions for which they are not trained, but most of these perpetrators are known wolves and should be off the streets. That is on the city, not the civilians.

In short, one lawbreaker gets stalked and threatened by another even worse lawbreaker, and it is the law-abiding citizen who will get the shaft.

Very on-brand for New York.

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