Curtis Sliwa has a message for vacationers visiting the Big Apple: “If you hear gunfire, you better duck!”
The Republican mayoral candidate shared the grim warning on Monday — a day after a Marine was struck by a stray bullet in Times Square, a month after three harmless bystanders have been also injured in a broad-daylight shooting within the Crossroads of the World.
“You need everyone you can get in this area now because there’s a crime crisis, it’s the wild, wild West!” Sliwa mentioned in Times Square about including extra cops to the vacationer hotspot — a measure officers announced earlier Monday.
“Yesterday, I was warning tourists, I was saying, ‘Welcome to New York City. Hopefully, you’ll have a safe time. You’re not going to get COVID-19 but you might get lead poisoning,’ ” he mentioned. ” ‘If you hear gunfire, you better duck!’ “
Sliwa additionally held up the New York Post’s Monday front page — bearing the headline “Tourist shot in Times Square” — saying it “said it all.”
“I mean, this headline, this front page says it all,” Sliwa mentioned.
The Guardian Angels founder criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio — who on Monday promised cops would “flood” Times Square — for being “MIA” within the tourism hub instantly following the broad daylight shooting.
“De Blasio should’ve been here yesterday to reassure residents, the tourists, the merchants who are coming back, the life that’s beginning to re-emerge after the end of this pandemic that, ‘We’re going to crack down on crime in Times Square,’” mentioned Sliwa throughout his press convention, with fellow pink beret-wearing males standing behind him.
“And yet, [he was] MIA, like he is in all crime situations.”
To fight the surge in shootings and different incidents like the one on Sunday, the well-known transit patroller instructed town carry again its plainclothes anti-crime unit, which was scrapped in June 2020.
“These women and men were like thespians,” mentioned Sliwa.
The Republican mayoral nominee pledged to successfully use the “heroic” anti-crime unit personnel if he pulls off an unlikely victory within the closely Democratic Big Apple.
“I’m telling you from day one when I become mayor, those heroic men and women are going to be out there,” he mentioned.
“Without these men and women out there from Midtown north to Midtown south, you’re going to continue to have this aggressive activity, continue to have fights and disputes that lead to stabbings and shootings.”
In addition, Sliwa mentioned Rikers Island — which is slated to be replaced with four new jails — shouldn’t shut its doorways.
“Keep Rikers Island open,” he mentioned. “There’s still plenty of room for mentally disturbed … individuals. So no to community jails. Rikers Island can function.”
Sliwa’s probably Democratic opponent in November, Eric Adams, who holds a 10-point lead within the first spherical within the ranked-choice voting election, mentioned the shooting is a “chilling reminder” of the elevated gun violence within the 5 boroughs.
“The news of another shooting in Times Square, in broad daylight, is a chilling reminder of the rising threat of gun violence across our city,” Adams mentioned in an announcement Sunday night time.
“We cannot have a real economic recovery from COVID-19 if our centers of business and tourism are perceived to be unsafe,” the assertion went on. “The leaders of this city, both now and going forward, must be committed to both the intervention and prevention measures needed to save lives.”
Meanwhile, Times Square’s Naked Cowboy mentioned Monday he’s “100 percent” endorsing Sliwa for mayor when requested by a reporter, then sang an unimaginative marketing campaign jingle whereas strumming his acoustic guitar connected to an American flag strap.
“Curtis Sliwa for mayor of NYC,” sang the shirtless man, whose actual identify is Robert Burck, “’cause he’s the best choice New Yorkers will ever see.”
Additional reporting by Kevin Sheehan