Crime Waves: ‘With a Stick of Gum in His Mouth and a Quip on His Lip’

A darkly clad African-American man of medium build was caught on tape slashing the tires of police parking-enforcement vehicles in the Bronx.

The Post is conservative in assessing the slasher’s motives; “maybe it was revenge for the tickets he got,” they speculate. The Daily News proposes an alternative narrative of vigilante justice: “Rubber Robin Hood?”

Apparently the nearby Westchester Square shopping district has “an infamous reputation for ticket blitzes against shoppers.”

The Post has a different tale of desperate deeds and redemption on the cover of today’s paper. Last spring, Mohammad Sohail faced an attempted robbery when a man with a baseball bat entered his Long Island deli and demanded cash. Sohail disarmed the man and held him at gunpoint before letting him go with $40 and a loaf of bread, sort of Jean Valjean-style.

Now, Sohail has received an anonymous letter apologizing for the incident and thanking him for his mercy. The letter reports that in the months since, the would-be thief has converted to Islam, acquired a job, and produced a baby.

“You gave me forty dollars thank you for sparing my life Because of that you change my life,” he wrote.

The man enclosed $50 and signed the note “Your Muslim Brother.”

But not all criminal escapades can be resolved with such pleasant tidiness. A Queens man faces 25 years in prison after being found guilty of sex trafficking; he bought a 19-year-old for $2000 and forced her to serve customers found on Craigslist. The Daily News cannot resist pointing out, however, that the conviction comes under a law signed by “disgraced ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.”

Meanwhile, disgraced ex-state senate leader Joseph Bruno appears to be having fun at his anti-corruption trial. He is the “Defendant, and Color Commentator, Too,” reports The Times:

He winks, he smiles, he gives thumbs up, at times seeming to glide through his trial with a stick of gum in his mouth and a quip on his lip.

Crime Waves: ‘With a Stick of Gum in His Mouth and a Quip on His Lip’