A 15-year-old boy has been arrested after a gang of 25 teenagers launched a brazen attack on a luxury SUV while the driver and his terrified 74-year-old mother sat inside fearing they would be killed.
Horrifying video shows a gang on bicycles smashing up Max Torgovnick’s BMW on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in broad daylight on Tuesday.
Torgovnick, who hails from the Upper East Side, was behind the wheel when the mob started leaping on the vehicle and stomping on its windshield as his elderly mother wept beside him and screamed ‘They are going to kill us’.
The 15-year-old boy, who is not being identified because he is a minor, is being charged as a juvenile over the attack.
A second teen has also been identified and is now being sought by police, the New York Post reports.
The fact that the attack occurred to random residents on a busy Manhattan street in broad daylight has left locals shaken. They say it is evidence that Big Apple officials are failing to protect them amid surging rates of violent crime.
Torgovnick, 36, was driving in the BMW with his mother when they encountered the large group of youngsters biking up Fifth Avenue near 21st Street.
Speaking to the CBS New York, Torgovnick – who is the son of a neurologist – said that he feared he and his mother could be killed.
‘When he smashed the glass, at that point my biggest fear was, they’re going to get in the car, they’re going to pull me out, and I could be killed,’ Torgovnick told the network.
A woman says she thought she was going to be killed after a gang of teenagers surrounded her SUV and began smashing it up in New York City. The shocking incident occurred in broad daylight in the heart of Manhattan on Tuesday
‘We were trapped, there was so much violence, I thought I was going to die,’ the terrified female passenger and mother of Torgovnick reportedly said after the attack
Max Torgovnick (pictured) a 36-year-old son of a neurologist from Upper East Side, was behind the wheel when the mob of teens started leaping on the vehicle and stomping on its windshield as his elderly mother wept beside him
‘All I could hear was my mother crying and screaming. That’s what haunts me the most,’ he added, before recalling how his car was surrounded after one of the bikers crashed into the back of the car.
‘Before I knew it, my mom is crying. She’s screaming into the phone to the 911 operator, “Help! Send help! We are going to die. They are going to kill us,”‘ he added.
The pair had just dropped off a holiday donation to a local charity when their vehicle was viciously set upon.
According to eyewitnesses, the teens began blocking traffic and started to attack the luxury car.
Shocking video shows several teens punching the BMW’s windows and stomping on its hood.
One youngster can be seen jumping on top of the SUV and smashing in its front windshield.
Bystanders say there were dozens of teens on the scene, many of whom cheered as the windshield was kicked in.
The cowardly collective of youngsters quickly fled on their bicycles as pedestrians shouted at them to go home.
Pictured: A still from the video of the incident which saw a group of teenagers attacking the SUV in Manhattan. Shown from two angles, one of the teenagers is seen jumping on the windshield of the car, smashing it in the centre with both feet
Another still taken from videos of the attack on the SUV. In this picture, one of the teens is seen using his bicycle to hit the front of the vehicle. The same moment is shown from two angles
The car was surrounded by the group of up to 50 teenagers, according to witnesses to the attack. One of the teenagers was filmed trying to smash one of the rear windows of the car as it was surrounded by the mob
Another witness said the attackers spat on the car and broke a handle as they tried to open the door and get inside.
The BMW was adorned with medical license plates, but that did nothing to deter the gang of brazen teens.
Torgovnick was forced to dial 911 with police nowhere to be seen. By the time cops arrived at the scene, the teens had sped off.
As the driver of the car tried to escape, the mob of teens continued to follow the SUV down the Manhattan street. The BMW was adorned with medical license plates, but that did nothing to deter the gang of brazen teens
Torgovnick was forced to dial 911 with police nowhere to be seen. By the time cops arrived at the scene, the teens had sped off. Pictured: The teens with their bikes block the way of the car as the driver tries to flee the attack
Torgovnick spoke to CBS New York after the incident. ‘All I could hear was my mother crying and screaming. That’s what haunts me the most,’ he said, before recalling how his car was surrounded after one of the bikers crashed into his car
Another witness said the attackers spat on the car and broke a handle as they tried to open the door and get inside
NYPD’s November crime report showed violent crime up on last year
Tuesday’s violent attack on the SUV came against a backdrop of rising levels of violent crime in New York City, as reported by the NYPD in November.
Shootings in New York City continued their upward trajectory, a statement from the NYPD earlier this month said, after incidents ‘through the first eleven months of 2020 surged to levels unseen in years’.
While overall crime remained the same, the department said, there was a spike in street violence over the first eleven months of the year as the city continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Gun arrests for the month of November are up +112.3% (484 v. 228), driving a +22.2% increase in citywide gun arrests (3,793 v. 3,104) compared with the same period a year ago,’ the NYPD reported on December 4.
While gun arrests are up, so too are the number of shootings in the city. In November, there was a 112.5 percent increase (115 v. 51) of people killed in shootings.
Shootings incidents rose 95.8 percent (1,412 v. 721) through the first 11 months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
Stats showed that ‘40% of those accused of a shooting have had a past gun possession arrest, while 21% of shooting victims have had one.’
Reporting figures on violent crime, the NYPD said homicides have also risen both for November and the year.
‘November saw 28 people murdered in the five boroughs, five more than were killed last November,’ the department said in its statement.
As of December 4, there had been a 38.4 percent increase (422 v. 305) in the number of victims murdered in New York City in 2020 compared to last year.
‘Whatever the challenge, our NYPD officers have shown innovation and determination to get the job done this year,’ NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in the statement.
‘Our work to reimagine the kind of policing New Yorkers deserve is always evolving, in line with our agency’s best traditions to reflect the needs of everyone in our city.’
One witness said Torgovnick’s mother was ‘shaking and in tears’.
‘We were trapped, there was so much violence, I thought I was going to die,’ she reportedly said.
Torgovnick says he has lived in New York all his life and could never have previously imagined such a scenario occurring on the streets of his home city.
‘That’s something like you would see on the streets of a war zone. I never thought New York would get this bad,’ he told The New York Post.
I was afraid that they were going to break the window, get in the car, reach in, and pull us out,’ Torgovnick stated.
‘My only thoughts at that moment were self-defense, [that] I wanted to protect my mother and I also didn’t want to hurt anyone.’
It comes as New York authorities struggle to combat a surge in crime.
Crime stats from the four weeks between November 30 – December 27 show violent crime is far higher than it was at the same time last year.
In the 28 days to December 27 2020 there were 21 murders – an increase of 61.5 percent when compared with the same dates in 2019.
There was also a 4.2 percent increase in rapes, and a staggering 122.4 percent surge in shootings.
Violent crime began spiking following a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget which was approved this past summer following passionate protests to defund the police.
Officials have failed to take responsibility for the surge in crime, instead shifting blame.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told NY1 earlier this month that changes to bail laws as well as progressive policies that encourage criminal justice reform are making the city more dangerous.
‘Until we come to that realization as a society — is this what we want?’
‘It’s good to have philosophical discussions about ‘end mass incarceration’ and ‘end incarceration’ but you don’t want to do it by turning the innocent public into jails in their own apartments and houses.’
Shea’s boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, pushed back on the commissioner’s comments.
The mayor told reporters at a City Hall meeting on December 8 that the surge in violent crime this year can be pinned on an ‘absolute perfect storm’ that hit New York this year.
‘You cannot combine a massive health crisis, tens of thousands of people dying, hospitals overwhelmed, economy is shut down, schools are shut down, houses of worship shut down, society not having its normal moorings all at once, a social justice crisis…’ the mayor said.
‘Come on, this is not like anything we have seen in our history and I believe not like anything we will see again in our lifetimes.’
De Blasio acknowledged there had been an ‘uptick in violence’ though he added that it is ‘clearly being addressed because we’re regluing the situation together again.’
Crime stats from the four weeks between November 30 – December 27 show violent crime is far higher than it was at the same time last year