NEW YORK – A New York City police officer was in a medically induced coma after being struck in the head with a metal chair during an arrest Friday in a Brooklyn nail salon, police said. A suspect was fatally shot in the incident.
NBC New York, citing police sources, reported the decedent-suspect is Kwesi Ashon, 33.
Officers were flagged down and tried to arrest a man who went into the nail salon, who after asking to use the restroom, began urinating on the floor of the store in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn around 5:40 p.m., NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said.
That man, who was wanted on a criminal mischief warrant, was resisting arrest when another man described as a peddler entered the Gold Mine nail salon and began fighting with police, Harrison said.
One of the two officers tried to use a Taser but it was ineffective, and the man who rushed in “continued his violent struggle with the officers by raising up a metal chair and striking one of the officers in the head,” Harrison said. That officer fired six times, killing the suspect, NBC News reported.
Consequently, the officer who was struck in the head with the chair was in a medically induced coma and was in critical but stable condition, he said.
“Once again, we’re standing at a hospital because one of our brave officers was injured while keeping New Yorkers safe,” Harrison said. “This time it’s because [of] a man who violently interfered with a lawful arrest.”
The unnamed 26-year-old man who urinated on the salon floor was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, the NYPD said.
Harrison said the officer who was struck in the head has been with the department for 21 years and his partner has seven months on the job. The second officer was treated for tinnitus and released.
All information is preliminary and subject to change. https://t.co/xeTsuMAEM1
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“An attack on a uniformed officer doing his duty is an attack on society at large, and we can’t have that,” First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said.
The station reports there have been six officer involved shootings across New York City since the end of September, five of which were fatal.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said the violence against cops is “never acceptable, it has to stop.”
“It seems like it has only been days since we had to rush to a hospital — because it is,” Lynch said. “This police officer spent his career in our busiest precincts serving the community and he was set upon for no reason. There is never, ever an acceptable reason to attack a New York City police officer.”
Ashun had some history with the NYPD dating back more than a decade, when he reportedly slashed an officer on the side of the head with a knife and injured a second officer in Brooklyn in 2004, according to the New York Times. In that incident, the suspect was subdued with pepper spray.