A New York City “mama bear” who took down a man that randomly punched her four-year-old son in Times Square last year has moved her cubs south to find a safer place to call home.
“We gave it until about the end of the year last year and my husband goes, ‘I’m tired of waking up, seeing the news, violence here, murder there… let’s go ahead and go down south,'” mother of two Rafaela Rivera told “Fox & Friends” Monday.
Rivera made headlines in February 2022 after she chased and pinned down a man who struck her son in the face while the Bronx family took photos in Times Square.
NYC MAN WHO RANDOMLY PUNCHED 4-YEAR-OLD IN TIMES SQUARE TAKEN DOWN BY MOM: POLICE
The Rivera family relocated to South Carolina after New York City’s crime wave pushed them out of the Big Apple. (Fox & Friends)
Now Rivera and her family have left the Big Apple for Myrtle Beach, S.C., and she says her family is welcoming the culture shock.
“We came here on vacation for my son’s five-year birthday, and we fell in love with [it]… it’s calmer, less crime… everybody’s friendly,” she said.
Rivera added that the cost of living is much more affordable in South Carolina and her family enjoys the food as well.
She told The New York Post that before reaching their breaking point, her 15-year-old was afraid of riding on public transit as the news gave constant reports of stabbings, robberies and murders.
MOM OF CHICAGO TRAIN ROBBERY SUSPECT RECOGNIZES HIM, DRAGS HIM TO POLICE STATION: REPORTS
Babacar Mbaye, who attacked Rafaela Rivera’s four-year-old son in Times Square. (NYPD/Fox & Friends)
“I wouldn’t even turn the news on,” she told The Post earlier this month.
Rivera recounted the moment she took down then-34-year-old Babacar Mbaye, a repeat offender with 51 previous arrests.
“I was angry. I was livid. All I could see was myself going after him and taking care of business,” she told co-host Ainsley Earhardt.
But the Rivera family is far from the only family fleeing The Big Apple over crime.
VIOLENT ATTACKS CONTINUE ON NYC SUBWAY, 2 PEOPLE STABBED IN 30-MINUTE SPAN
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“I have a few friends, a few of my husband’s friends who say that they’re ready to come down [south]. We had a couple of them come down with us, and they enjoyed it. They said they wanted to get out of New York, and they’re ready to come down south.”
In her New Year’s Day address, Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul urged residents to stop fleeing The Empire State to help “reverse the trend” of a mass exodus to other parts of the U.S.
Fox News’ Pilar Arias contributed to this report.
Taylor Penley is a production assistant with Fox News.