Ex-con suspected of vandalizing MetroCard machines 151 times released under bail law: report

1010 WINS Newsroom
February 28, 2020 - 1:29 pm
Jerome Hill



NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – An ex-con accused of vandalizing MetroCard machines at a Queens subway station 151 times in four months was released without bail under the new criminal justice reform law.

The Daily News reports that Jerome Hill, a 41-year-old homeless ex-con, was arrested Feb. 18 after allegedly vandalizing machines at the Jamaica Center station between late September and late January.

A seven-page criminal complaint alleges Hill jammed a “foreign object” into the machines repeatedly, causing them to break and not accept money.

The MTA’s chief safety officer, Patrick Warren, said Hill cost the MTA around $20,000 and inconvenienced riders.

Hill couldn't be held under the new bail reform law and was granted supervised release.

Hill has more than 60 prior arrests and was added to the sex offender registry after being convicted of forcible touching in a Manhattan subway station in 2011. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed banning sex offenders from the subway. The MTA supports the move and wants to expand the proposal to all career criminals targeting subway stations and commuters.

Law enforcement officials told the Daily News that Hill is the kind of repeat offender law enforcement would like judges to be allowed to hold to protect the public.

Supporters of criminal justice reform say the new law helps suspects keep their homes and jobs as they fight the charges against them, which they say benefits society.