City officials on Monday refused to say whether they helped the homeless schizophrenic man accused of randomly attacking actor Rick Moranis and others, as police sources said the system failed New Yorkers.
Marquis Ventura — charged with the unprovoked October assault on Moranis, plus a spate of similar incidents — has been in and out of psychiatric wards in seven states and off his medication, attorney Autumn Levine said in a Sunday hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Ventura, 35, has been arrested more than a dozen times in the five boroughs, according to sources, seemingly providing ample opportunity for New York’s robust and well-funded web of mental-health services to help him.
But a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday declined to reveal whether Ventura had ever received aid through ThriveNYC, the much-maligned, billion-dollar pet project of First Lady Chirlane McCray — or any other city initiative, citing privacy restrictions.
Meanwhile, NYPD insiders said that the city’s apparent failure of Ventura — and, consequently, his alleged victims — is just the latest in a long line.
“You can’t force them to get treatment,” one high-ranking source told The Post. “The best thing we can do is lock them up.
“We have Kendra’s Law but they don’t do it,” the source continued, referring to a state law giving judges the authority to compel outpatient treatment for some patients of serious mental illness who are demonstrated threats to themselves or others, under threat of short-term involuntary commitment.
A second source said that city and state politicians like to talk a big game about addressing mental illness, but the results speak for themselves.
“Mental health is a real issue in New York City,” the insider said. “Until they take care of the mental-health issues and get these people the help they really need, this is going to continue to be a dangerous city for New Yorkers.”
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