He demonstrated to be right.
Agustin Garcia, 63, was charged with robbing two Manhattan straphangers — brandishing a knife against one of them — and stealing a beer from a Bronx bodega in a fast follow-up, prosecutors and law-enforcement sources told The Post.
Manhattan prosecutors asked twice that Garcia be held on bail amid his alleged crime spree, only to be rejected by judges.
It wasn’t until Garcia was busted a third time that he was sent to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, although still without any bail to keep him arrested.
“We can arrest people, we can cut them loose, incarcerate them, but it’s not addressing the underlying problems,” said a frustrated law-enforcement source.
“There are so many underlying issues when it comes to revolving-door criminal-justice problems. But by far, the No. 1 issue we see in cases … is mental health.”
Garcia’s troubled brother Jose said the source was accurate in his sibling’s case.
“My brother is a sick person,” Jose Garcia told The Post on Sunday, saying Agustin suffers from schizophrenia. “He’s been sick for the past 35 years.
“When he goes to the hospital and is committed there, sometimes for a month or two, he sometimes doesn’t get the treatment completely, and they release him. And once they release him, the problem comes back again.”
Agustin Garcia’s alleged 36-hour crime spree began around 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 when police say he swiped a dozen cans of Coors Light beer from a bodega on East 165th Street in The Bronx. The suspect was charged with petty larceny.
Cops freed him on a desk-appearance ticket pending a court hearing. Then just a few hours later, Garcia was back in handcuffs.
Police said he was arrested again around 3 a.m. Nov. 22 at the Canal Street subway station in Manhattan after supposedly stealing a straphanger’s backpack and pulling a knife on her while warning her to “stay back” when she followed him.
“I know I’m getting out,” Garcia boasted to cops at the Fifth Precinct station house after his arrest, according to sources. “I have no record.” Garcia, who sources said has no prior convictions, was charged with felony robbery, and Manhattan prosecutors asked that he be held on $15,000 cash bail or a $45,000 bond.
But Garcia was cut loose on supervised release without bail by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge James Clynes.