Man who used tree branch in NYC assault spree arrested

JULIA JACOBO
·2 min read
Man who used tree branch in NYC assault spree arrested

A man who used a tree branch in an assault spree throughout downtown Manhattan has been arrested.

The chaos began Sunday evening when New Jersey resident Bryan Thompson, 43, allegedly struck three people over the head on the subway platform for the 1 train on Canal Street just after 6:30 p.m., ABC New York station WABC reported.

MORE: Surveillance video released from hotel incident against jazz musician's son falsely accused of stealing cell phone

Thompson then allegedly left the station and struck a fourth victim in her head on Varick and Canal Streets before approaching a car and attacking the driver, police said.

When the driver of that car fled, Thompson allegedly took the vehicle, sped off and then crashed into two parked cars, according to authorities.

PHOTO: An NYPD police vehicle blocks the street during the virtual New Year's Eve event following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the Manhattan borough of New York, Dec. 31, 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters, FILE)
PHOTO: An NYPD police vehicle blocks the street during the virtual New Year's Eve event following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the Manhattan borough of New York, Dec. 31, 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters, FILE)

After crashing, Thompson allegedly smashed the side window of another vehicle, police said, but the female driver of that car did not get out.

Thompson then allegedly attacked a man and woman on the street nearby with the tree branch before approaching a third vehicle and hitting it with the branch.

MORE: Man facing murder charges in fatal pipe beatings of 4 homeless people in NYC's Chinatown

When the driver of that vehicle got out, Thompson got behind the wheel and drove away, police said. The car was spotted on West 24th Street and 12th Avenue at about 7 p.m.

Thompson reportedly lost control of the car, crashed into an NYPD radio vehicle and hit a center median before coming to a stop on the West Side Highway near Chelsea Piers, according to police.

PHOTO: New York Police officers wear protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic in Times Square, Dec. 31, 2020, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: New York Police officers wear protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic in Times Square, Dec. 31, 2020, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP, FILE)

When Thompson refused commands by police officers to exit the vehicle, they broke the driver's side window and deployed a stun gun on him.

Thompson was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with several counts of assault and robbery, according to police.

MORE: Deaths of 2 female Army soldiers probed in Texas, 1 fatally shot on freeway

The first four victims suffered lacerations to their head, while the man attacked on the street sustained a broken arm, police said. The woman on the street suffered lacerations and bruising to her leg.

Man who used tree branch in NYC assault spree arrested originally appeared on abcnews.go.com