A woman who watched her granddaughter get snatched off a Bronx sidewalk by a deranged homeless man has sought medical care in effort to deal with the trauma of the attempted abduction.
Gabriela Derevjanik was walking with her three grandchildren Monday afternoon when Santiago Salcedo, a 27-year-old homeless man, wrapped Lilianna Repka, 3, up in a comforter and tried to run away with her.
Although Salcedo’s attempts were unsuccessful, Lilianna’s family is still dealing with the affects of his actions.
‘I’ve just come from the doctor with my wife. She’s shaken by the whole thing,’ her husband, Jan Derevjanik, told the Daily News Tuesday. ‘She can’t speak about it. Who knows what would have happened if he’d taken our grandchild?’
He added: ‘I can’t stand to look at it. This guy is not supposed to be on the street. He should be in jail or in a psychiatric hospital. If I had been there, he would have been killed.’
The crime was committed amid a seven per cent spike in assaults in New York in September. Homelessness numbers have more than doubled to 50,000 in a decade, with nurse Maria Ambrocio, 58, the most high-profile recent victim of the spree.
Gabriela Derevjanik (right, seen running as two toddlers watch) was walking with her three grandchildren Monday afternoon when Santiago Salcedo (left, carrying child in a blanket), wrapped Lilianna Repka, 3, up in a comforter and tried to run away with her
She was knocked over and fatally-injured in Times Square last Friday by a man fleeing a mugging he’d just carried out, with cops naming their suspect as vagrant Jermaine Foster.
Meanwhile, Salcedo — who was charged with kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child — claims that a man, not seen in the surveillance footage of the incident, told him to take Lilianna.
‘I was there. Someone told me to grab the girl. She was evil,’ he stated during his deposition, court documents revealed. ‘When the guy stopped me, I dropped her and walked away.’
Jan Derevjanik (left) said his wife was traumatized by the encounter and that if he had been present Salcedo ‘would have been killed’
Lilianna’s mother, Jana Repka (pictured), wants Salcedo to seek medical help
Lilianna’s mother, Jana Repka, wants Salcedo to seek medical help.
‘I want to press charges but I don’t want him to go to jail. I want him to get help. Jail is not going to help him,’ she told the New York Post.
Salcedo was arraigned at Bronx Criminal Court Tuesday night.
His public defender, Angeline Andersen, allegedly quoted Jana when she asked the judge that her client receive ‘medical treatment and mental health services’.
‘I ask that your honor have that same compassion and understanding for Mr. Salcedo that the complainant’s mother did,’ Andersen said.
Judge Seth Steed granted the request for medical attention, but did note that the case was ‘very serious.
‘The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison for the alleged kidnapping of the 3-year-old girl,’ he stated.
Salcedo was held on a $15,000 bail and a protection order was issued for Lilianna.
The 27-year-old, who appeared in court looking unkept and in the same clothes he wore during the incident, remained mostly quiet during the arraignment. Neither he nor his family would comment on the hearing.
Santiago Salcedo (pictured with public defender Angeline Andersen) appeared for his arraignment at Bronx Criminal Court Tuesday evening
Andersen (right) asked the judge that Salcedo (left) receive ‘medical treatment and mental health services’. The judge agreed, but noted that the case was ‘very serious.’ Salcedo was held on a $15,000 bail and a protection order was issued for the 3-year-old victim
Surveillance footage paints a vivid picture of the attempted abduction.
Gabriela, 65, who was babysitting Lilianna and her two toddler brothers, walking the children back from a nearby park on Monday afternoon when Salcedo walked towards them.
He approached the group near BP gas station at the corner of E. Tremont and Baisley Avenues, wrapped Lilianna up in a blanket, and ran off with her.
Gabriela chased after him as Lilianna’s siblings watched in shock.
‘Of course, she yelled at the guy to stop, and to give us my little daughter,’ Jana told CBS New York. ‘He dropped her after a couple of steps. Other people who were at the station were really responding.’
She continued: ‘There was literally a couple of people who chased the guy and helped us with police, so I’d like to thank them.’
A homeless man tried to abduct a little girl walking with her grandmother in the Bronx in broad daylight on Monday
The man wrapped the little girl in a comforter and snatched her from the sidewalk
Fermin Bracero, 63, who works at the BP gas station was one of the heroes who chased down the suspect. After the girl was safe, he told DailyMail.com: ‘He didn’t say nothing. He just stood there looking at us. He stood there for awhile. I was still thinking, “Is this real?”‘
A group of Good Samaritans — two men and two women — helped bring Lilianna to safety.
Fermin Bracero, 63, who works at the BP, chased down the suspect. He told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that he was sweeping the sidewalk when he saw Salcedo wrap a blanket around the young girl and take off.
He thought it was a joke, but then realized it wasn’t a family prank and chased the suspect. Another man and two women who were pumping gas joined the pursuit.
Bracero told DailyMail.com that the suspect let the girl go, and didn’t say anything to the four. He simply walked away and went across the street.
‘He didn’t say nothing. He just stood there looking at us. He stood there for a while. I was still thinking, ‘Is this real?” Bracero recalled.
He said Salcedo finally took off on an electric scooter before it ‘quit on him’ and then he ran off.
NYPD officers later found him asleep in a nearby doorway and arrested him.
Police caught Salcedo later Monday sleeping in the doorway of a nearby business and was seen grinning as he was charged on Monday night. He was charged with kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and child endangerment
He was seen laughing and smiling as he was escorted out of the 45th Precinct in the Bronx and in the back of the police car
The attempted abduction comes amid a surge in violent crime committed by homeless suspects in New York City.
Last week, Maria Ambrocio, a 58-year-old oncology nurse from New Jersey, was knocked to the ground by a man allegedly attempting to flee the scene with a 29-year-old woman’s cellphone near Times Square.
The charges against the suspect, Jermaine Foster, were later upgraded from a felony assault to murder after Ambrocio’s family agreed to switch off her life support.
The number of single adults sleeping in municipal shelters has spiked by 103 percent in the past decade and has continued to soar since coronavirus pandemic.
In the past few years, NYC homelessness has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression in the 1930s, according to the New York Coalition for the Homeless.
There were 47,979 homeless people, including 14,881 homeless children, sleeping each night in the NYC municipal shelter system in August 2021, according to the agency. In the same month, there were 18,357 single adults in shelters.
The brutal beating comes just a few days after Maria Ambrocio, a 58-year-old oncology nurse, was killed after a mugger shoved her to the ground in Times Square
The suspect, Jermaine Foster, 26, is being charged with murder
The coalition adds that thousands of homeless people sleep throughout the streets, subways and other public spaces throughout the Big Apple, but there is ‘no accurate measure’ of such data and city surveys ‘significantly underestimate the number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers.’
Many have said that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempts to handle the ongoing mental health crisis have only exacerbated it.
The Office of Community Mental Health, which was once known as first lady Chirlane McCray’s $1.25 billion ThriveNYC initiative, has yet to reinstate two in-person training programs, Mental Health First Aid and Crisis Intervention Training due to COVID-19 safety precautions even though city workers have been back in their offices for months, according to the New York Post.
The number of crime victims offered emotional support services also dropped from 49,000 in the 2020 fiscal year to 39,000 in 2021 fiscal year, the outlet reported.
And mental health service in high-needs schools saw a change of guard this year. They are now run by the Department of Education and the Department of Health instead of the Office of Community Mental Health.
The attempted abduction comes amid a surge in violent crime committed by homeless suspects in New York City
There have been 16,899 felony assaults in NYC this year through October 3, with multiple terrifying examples carried out by homeless people, according to the the most recent data from the NYPD.
That is up seven percent from the 15,787 committed in the same time period the previous year. Felony assaults are up almost 16 percent in the past 28 days, with 1,949 incidents through October 3 compared to 1,685 in the same duration last year.
Robberies in the Big Apple are down just 0.4 percent with 9,647 through October 3 compared to 9,686 committed in the same period last year. Robberies are up nine percent in the past 28 days with 1,222 occurring in in 2021 as compared to 1,117 in 2020.
Transit crimes are down 13 percent this year through October 3, with 1,200 in 2021 and 1,384 in 2020. However, such crimes have soared in the past 28 days and are up about 66 percent with 169 in 2021 as opposed to 102 for the same period in 2020.