Suspect who assaulted ‘hero’ NYC subway worker previously arrested 41 times

Suspect who assaulted ‘hero’ NYC subway worker previously arrested 41 times

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Posted For: Willie Wonka

A man accused of pummeling a “hero’’ Bronx subway cleaner last week has been arrested a staggering 41 times in the past — including for a hate crime that already made him a revolving-door-justice poster boy, The Post has learned.

Suspect Alexander Wright, 49, is currently behind bars on a measly $5,000 bail, or half what Bronx prosecutors sought for his alleged vicious attack on the train-station worker, who was trying to stop the accused assailant from harassing straphangers.

Wright allegedly beat MTA employee Anthony Nelson, 35, around 8:40 a.m. Thursday, leaving the victim hospitalized with injuries including a broken collarbone and dislocated nose.

The horrific assault was just the latest in a long list of crimes attributed to Wright — from a random slugfest targeting an Asian woman in Chinatown to throwing hot coffee on two traffic agents in Midtown last year.

“If you look at his history, you’ll throw up,’’ Robert Kelley, vice president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, told The Post on Tuesday.

“The system has let society down [more than] 40 times,” Kelley said. “At the end of the day, these are all similar cases of assault.”

Suspect Alexander Wright, 49, is currently behind bars on a small $5,000 bail.

The victim’s angry mother, Lisa Nelson, called Wright “a menace to society.

“This man Alexander Wright should not be walking the streets,” said the mom, who appeared at a union rally held Tuesday outside The Bronx courthouse on behalf of her son.

“I hope these politicians and these judges give him the max that he deserves and do not let him walk free.”

In June 2021, Wright was busted for allegedly punching a 55-year-old Asian woman in Lower Manhattan in a caught-on-video attack. A month earlier, he was accused of tossing scalding coffee on the two traffic agents in Manhattan, triggering an assault rap.

When taken into custody over the Asian woman’s attack, Wright was deposited at Bellevue Hospital for a psych evaluation. But it was not clear when or why he was freed after that incident or the coffee attack.

Other charges lodged last year against the alleged repeat offender included more cases involving second-degree assault, harassment and felony criminal mischief, police said.

Alexander Wright faces raps of felony assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree.

He also was previously accused of other assaults, disorderly conduct, petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance for allegedly carrying synthetic marijuana, police and cop sources said.

The suspect — who cops said lives at a homeless shelter on Wards Island and goes by the nickname “Disney” — had previously been reported to authorities three times as an “emotionally disturbed person.’’

As his alleged career-criminal past came to light last year, then-NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea seethed on NY1, “What are we doing in society when we are releasing these people right back onto the streets?

“It’s putting New Yorkers at risk,” Shea said.

Alexander Wright allegedly beat MTA employee Anthony Nelson, 35, around 8:40 a.m. Thursday,  leaving the victim hospitalized.

Wright briefly appeared in Bronx Criminal Court on Tuesday in the attack on Nelson, but the hearing was adjourned to Friday.

He faces raps of felony assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree in the attack on Nelson.

The suspect remains behind bars on bail set in the case at $5,000 cash, $5,000 bond or the much less stringent $5,000 partially secured bond, officials said.

Prosecutors had asked that bail be set at $10,000 cash, $30,000 bond or $30,000 bond partially secured at 10 percent, a DA rep said.

Judge Michael Hartofilis set the lower bail.

Nelson’s mother cried Tuesday while urging authorities to throw the book at Wright.

She noted that her son was once hailed by the Knicks as a “pandemic hero” for his continued work during COVID.

“My son did not deserve this,” Lisa Nelson said of last week’s assault. “He’s a brother, he’s an uncle, he’s a son, he’s a father. … This is not right.

“Please, please, please let justice be served for Anthony Nelson and all the people that this man has hurt.”

Nelson’s sister, Nashia Nelson, 33, told The Post that her brother “is in a lot of pain today.

“I’ve never in 33 years seen my brother like that – broken nose, his right side collarbone is broken.

“I mean it’s really devastating, it makes us extremely scared,” she said.

“I’m a regular customer riding the train – I even get cursed out multiple times,’’ the sibling said. “I don’t feel safe at all.’’

The TWU’s Kelley added, “We need to up this bail.

“We need to up these charges,’’ Kelley said of Wright. “We’re tired of [emotionally disturbed people] getting amnesty. Our members are not safe out here.

“Anthony Nelson is nothing less than a hero,” Kelley added.

The horrific assault was just the latest in a long list of crimes attributed to Alexander Wright.

“This is a heinous crime, and [Wright] needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is in jail right now, but we have concerns if they do not up these charges.’’

The MTA described Nelson in a statement as a “model employee’’ while also urging “the Bronx District Attorney to prosecute this unprovoked crime to the fullest extent.

“Someone with dozens of priors should not be free to harass subway riders and brutally attack the employees who make this city move,” the transit agency said.

The release included a quote from the hospitalized Nelson, who said. “You can’t turn a blind eye to helping people.

“We need to be considerate to fellow New Yorkers. I would do it again,’’ he said.

Online records indicated that Wright has a Legal Aid lawyer. She was unable to be reached Tuesday.

The troubling subway attack came as the latest NYPD statistics show major crimes citywide jumping 36 percent compared to last year by this time. The dismal figure has been holding steady, even as murders and shootings are down.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/16/nyc-subway-attacker-alexander-wright-had-41-prior-arrests/

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