New York man gets 22 years in prison for hammer attacks

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 19, 2017 3:20 PM

By Gina Cherelus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A hammer-wielding man who attacked four people including a police officer during a three-day string of assaults in New York City two years ago was sentenced on Wednesday to 22 years in prison, prosecutors said.

David Baril, 32, pleaded guilty in May to attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer and multiple counts of assault in the second degree, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement, adding that "New Yorkers were gripped with fear" during the attacks.

Baril, a native of New York City's Bronx borough who police said suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was also sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.

On May 11, 2015, he randomly attacked a 20-year-old man in Manhattan, striking him in the back of the head with a hammer, according to prosecutors.

Several hours later, he used the same hammer to attack two women aged 28 and 33, also hitting them both in the head.

Baril was identified as a suspect using security camera footage and witness accounts. Two days later, police officers Lauren O'Rourke and Geraldo Casaigne spotted Baril in midtown Manhattan and approached him, Vance's statement said.

Baril pulled out a hammer and repeatedly struck O'Rourke in the head and body before Casaigne drew his gun and fired four shots at him.

Baril had been arrested eight times prior to the hammer attacks, once for attempting to assault a police officer, authorities said at the time. In May 2014, Baril posted a photo on social media showing a bloody hammer that is believed to be the same one used in the attacks.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Cynthia Osterman)