Queens, NY – A violent suspect who threatened police with a knife was released from jail after just one night, providing him with the opportunity to go out and stab two random victims in separate attacks on the subway, according to police.
Donny Ubiera, who allegedly stabbed one victim in the neck and one victim in the face, is a three-time convicted felon with nearly two dozen prior arrests on his record, WABC reported.
“This is nothing if not predictable,” New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement to the New York Post. “Your police are doing their job. We keep arresting him.”
But the city’s broken criminal justice system keeps turning the 32-year-old suspect loose.
“His record demonstrates that each time he is involved in unprovoked violence against innocent victims, the criminal justice system has him back to the streets and the subways rather than jail or psychiatric treatment,” Commissioner Sewell said. “He inevitably targets another victim.”
NYPD officers’ most recent series of run-ins with Ubiera began on June 8, when police received a 911 call about a man with a knife, the New York Post reported.
Officers located Ubiera and told him to drop the weapon, but he refused and fled from them on foot, according to police.
The fleeing suspect was quickly apprehended and placed under arrest for reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a weapon, the New York Post reported.
Investigators said Ubiera was in possession of a pipe containing “crack” residue when he was arrested, WABC reported.
The following day, he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to nothing more than the overnight jail stay he’d already served.
The court allowed Ubiera to walk out of jail on June 9.
On June 10, just one day after his release, Ubiera allegedly stabbed a 62-year-old victim in the face and hand on the Flushing-to-Midtown No. 7 subway line, the New York Post reported.
The attack occurred at 8:40 a.m. at Queensboro Plaza in Long Island City in Queens.
Sources said there was so much blood spilled in the attack that the train car had to be taken out of service, according to the New York Post.
New York City Assistant District Attorney Ryan Nicolosi said the victim needed 35 stitches to close his wounds and that he “no longer has feeling in portions of his fingers,” the New York Daily News reported.
The suspect fled the scene and was not immediately apprehended, according to the New York Post.
He turned up at the 74th Street-Broadway station in Jackson Heights in Queens at 7:15 a.m. on June 11 and stabbed another random victim in the neck with a “large” knife, which he left at the scene, according to police.
Ubiera again fled the area prior to officers’ arrival, the New York Post reported.
That victim, 55-year-old Morris Walton, had just gotten off his night shift at Home Depot and was sitting on a bench waiting for his train home when the attack occurred, according to the New York Daily News.
“The guy just came up randomly, suddenly, and not in a language I understand, and he stabbed me,” Morris told WABC. “Then everybody gets excited. I was bleeding like a river.”
The victim underwent two emergency surgeries during the effort to save his life, according to WABC.
Prosecutors said Walton still needed a ventilator to breathe as of Monday, the New York Daily News reported.
Astute NYPD officers out on patrol spotted the suspect later that night wearing the same gold-and-black shirt he was allegedly seen wearing in surveillance footage when he stabbed both victims, according to the New York Post.
They placed him under arrest for two counts of attempted murder, two counts of weapons possession, and two counts of assault, the New York Post reported.
One day later, on June 12, the NYPD also charged Ubiera in a separate incident from June 8 in which he allegedly hit a 45-year-old bakery employee with a piece of wood at Delicias Calenas on Roosevelt Avenue.
Nicolosi said the board Ubiera allegedly used in the attack had a nail protruding from one end, the New York Daily News reported.
The victim attempted to hide behind the store counter, but the suspect was able to bash him on the head with the board, slicing him with the nail, prosecutors said.
“The victim suffered lacerations and had to get a tetanus shot,” according to Nicolosi.
Ubiera was being held without bail on Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
In addition to his recent alleged crime spree, Ubiera was previously arrested on Dec. 27, 2021, for committing four separate assaults in a single day, the New York Post reported.
He was also arrested on Nov. 5, 2021, for allegedly punching his roommate at a Queens homeless shelter.
In January, he was arrested yet again after he allegedly stole a beer from a bodega on 74th Street in Jackson Heights and threatened a store employee with a large knife when he tried to stop him, the New York Post reported.
The statuses of those cases are unknown.
Ubiera’s lawyer, Margaret Lin, told the court on Monday that she doesn’t believe her client is mentally fit to stand trial, the New York Daily News reported.
“Based on what he and I discussed, it’s my determination that he is lacking the ability to assist me in his defense at this time,” Lin said.
She has asked for the court to order a mental health evaluation for Ubiera.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) CEO John “Janno” Lieber said he was pleased to learn Ubiera was being held without bail in the wake of the brutal stabbings, WABC reported.
“Sanity prevailed when a judge decided today to detain a defendant accused of multiple attacks on subway passengers,” Lieber said. “It is not acceptable that someone who’s a clear danger could threaten a police officer with a knife one day and be put back on the street by the justice system the next day to stab others as happened here. Thanks to Queens DA Melinda Katz for aggressively pushing to protect New Yorkers.”