Getting Stalkers Off the Streets

Posted on: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Keywords: stalking, anti-stalking, Safe Horizon anti-stalking, stalkers, penalties for stalking, Michele Archer, domestic violence, stalking domestic violence

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SOMETIMES there's a red flag long before tragedy strikes.

The victims of a serial stalker recently busted in Queens just weeks after he was released from prison could have suffered a more tragic end if the creep had been on the streets any longer, lawmakers said.

Andre Davis, 43, who had been arrested and released on bail twice since he was freed June 9, was following his estranged wife - 34-year-old Erica Reed - for more than two weeks after he allegedly attacked her, prosecutors said.

Davis has been arrested more than 50 times, mostly for breaking stay-away orders for a handful of women, records show.

"The recidivism rate is very high [for stalking]," said state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), who helped author a bill this year that would create harsher penalties against stalkers.

"It's very scary," she said. "Especially with someone with a history of violent behavior."

The hulking Davis was arrested for allegedly beating Reed weeks after he was freed from an 18-month stint in prison for stalking. He was released the same day.

He was collared a week later for breaking a protection order barring him from contacting Reed. Again, he was bailed out hours later.

It took more than two weeks for officials at the state Division of Parole to issue a warrant for his arrest and put him behind bars.

Lawmakers compared Davis' creepy behavior to a Flushing man who killed a woman in his 40th Road building earlier this year.

Huang Chen, 47, viciously attacked Qian Wu, 46, inside the building in which both of them lived as Wu returned home from buying a gallon of milk on Jan. 26, according to police and news reports.

Her corpse was found on the bloody stairwell with her heart and lungs carved from her body. Her organs were never found.

Chen had tormented Wu for years and she had several court-issued orders of protection against him.

"People aren't really scared of violating these orders of protection," said Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who is trying to get Stavisky's bill passed in the Assembly since the Senate voted for it in June.

"The problem isn't getting them," Meng said. "The problem is enforcing them."

The bill, if passed, will also give the court permission to require electric monitoring of someone found guilty of stalking.

"It shouldn't take something tragic," said Michele Archer, director of the anti-stalking program at Safe Horizon, a group that serves domestic violence victims.

"The problem is really showing that pattern of behavior," Archer said, adding that stalkers usually pop up in different jurisdictions and make it difficult to prosecute more than one incident at a time.

"It is a challenge," said Archer. "The penalties for stalking are just not that severe."

by Joe Kemp
New York Daily News
"Get Stalkers Off Our Streets"

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