NEW YORK CITY, NY – Police say that a 54-year-old man attacked a 7-year-old boy, seemingly without any sort of provocation, via rushing to him from behind and choking him.
The incident occurred on January 11th in the Manhattan borough at approximately 2:45 p.m. along East 86th Street near Second Avenue on the Upper East Side.
Authorities say that a 7-year-old boy was walking alongside his 24-year-old brother when 54-year-old John Shepherd ran up to the young boy’s backside and yanked him by his neck and said, “I’m going to kill you.”
During the incident, the 24-year-old brother attempted to stop the alleged attacker, but the suspect was said to have then fallen on top of the young boy.
A bystander nearby the attack was said to have aided the 24-year-old male in detaining Shepherd until police could arrive on the scene. Police were said to have taken Shepherd into custody, citing that he was believed to have been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
"A man was arrested on Monday for choking a 7 year-old boy in an unprovoked attack in Manhattan"
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) January 12, 2021
The young boy was said to have suffered a cut on his neck and lip, and was later transported to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for treatment of his sustained injuries.
Shepherd has since been charged with reckless assault of a child, strangulation, harassment and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
This is a developing investigation. Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insight into this ongoing case.
In other cases stemming from New York City, a man was recently arrested and charged with a number of hate crimes after allegedly targeting light-skinned women in a series of attacks.
Here’s that previous report.
NEW YORK, NY – A 29-year-old man is facing nine hate crime charges for a series of alleged attacks against light-skinned women that were said to have occurred between August of 2020 and January of 2021.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 6, 2021
Khari Covington was arrested on Jan. 5, with authorities alleging he was behind a series of assaults and an armed robbery attempt that have been ongoing since August.
Seven of the alleged assaults linked to Covington occurred at the Morgan Avenue subway station, while the other two were committed street-level in areas not far from the station.
Police brought Covington into custody the day after his latest alleged crime, where he was said to have assaulted a 27-year-old employee at a smoke shop at Wilson Avenue near Noll Street on Jan. 4 at roughly 4:50 p.m.
Khari Covington is facing a hate crime charge because police say he appeared to be motivated to attack a women because of a "hatred for light-skinned women."https://t.co/jUbAwCSFJY
— News12BK (@News12BK) January 6, 2021
According to police, Covington forced his way behind the store counter, where he allegedly punched the woman and knocked her to the ground. From there, authorities say he began to wrap his arm around her neck.
Covington allegedly tried to steal from the smoke shop after the assault occurred, but reportedly didn’t take off with anything from the scene.
Bianca Fortis, a 32-year-old journalist, was one of the many victims who police say were attacked by Covington during his alleged string of assaults at the Morgan Avenue subway station.
"Khari Covington, 29, is accused of attacking nine women in separate instances in East Williamsburg since last August, according to police."
— Billy (@Billy2_O) January 6, 2021
On Dec. 28, Fortis was assaulted allegedly by Covington – causing severe bruising to her face, chest and shoulder – while she was exiting the subway station.
Fortis was highly critical of the NYPD for not having shared intel of the pattern of assaults along the subway prior to the victim’s arrest and her assault:
“I was stunned that this had happened so many times…I didn’t see any police stationed there. There were no flyers.”
Covington’s alleged seven assaults linked to subway travelers began back on Nov. 11, according to police. But the first alleged hate crime linked to the suspect dates back to August of last year.
Police tell is he was motivated by “hatred of light-skinned women”.
— Jessica Cunnington (@JessicaNews12) January 6, 2021
In that incident, officials say Covington reportedly shoved a woman down who had just finished jogging outside an apartment building in the area of Morgan Avenue near Rock Street.
The suspect has since been charged with eight counts of assault as a hate crime and one count of attempted robbery as a hate crime.
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New York City played host to another incident involving a lone suspect committing a string of assaults throughout the subway and the streets – but this suspect was said to have commenced them in a single scheme.
NYPD arrest man accused of terror spree, attacking 10 people with bat and damaging vehicles
January 4, 2021
NEW YORK, NY – Police in New York City are still working to understand what led to a 43-year-old suspect allegedly attacking people and damaging vehicles throughout the city, while armed with a sort of wooden bat on Jan. 2.
The NYPD is trying to make sense of a frightening crime spree. Police said a man from Atlantic City armed with a wooden bat-like weapon attacked people and cars before finally being captured in Chelsea. @HSanchezTV reports. https://t.co/MBuaVCKDTZ
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) January 4, 2021
Police say they arrested Bryan Thompson around 7 p.m. on Jan. 2, while he allegedly tried to flee police while driving a stolen Jeep.
What led to the end of the police pursuit was when Thompson reportedly ran into a police vehicle and then crashed into a median at West 24th Street and 12th Avenue.
Prior to the police chase and arrest, NYPD officials say that Thompson had engaged in a string of assaults throughout the city.
Thompson was said to have started the string of bat-attacks at the Canal Street subway station on Varick Street, assaulting three people.
From there, Thompson allegedly took to the streets and began targeting people both on foot and inside their vehicles.
According to authorities, Thompson eventually forced a man out of a parked Jeep Grand Cherokee in front of 66 West Broadway and drove off with the vehicle.
It was after that alleged carjacking that police eventually apprehended the suspect. Authorities were said to have brought the suspect to the Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
As of now, Thompson is facing numerous charges that include robbery, assault and fleeing police in a motor vehicle.
Some of the victims that were targeted by the alleged attacker recently spoke out about their experience during the string of assaults.
One of the victims, 57-year-old Sherif Oleba, is a food-delivery man who was making a delivery in the city when he was suddenly attacked:
“Just 30 seconds changed my whole life in a dramatic way.
“It’s one of the worst experiences of my life – nothing even close to this has happened to me before.”
At the time of the attack, Oleba was merely searching for a bench at the Canal Street subway station when he said he was aggressively approached by the suspect:
“He started shout, ‘Fucking n***er’ at me and then raised the stick and started hitting me.”
Recalling the attack, Oleba said that he attempted to shield his head from the assault, causing him to be struck in his arm and his hand in the process:
“I was forced to put my arm down because I couldn’t take the pain…and the third hit came directly down on my head.”
The attack resulted in Oleba’s arm being broken, which may cause him to be out of work for the next month:
“I don’t know how I’ll get by.
“Things are just not safe any more. I never expected this, just as I was trying to take a ride on the subway.”
Another victim among the subway was 18-year-old Mael Quentin, who recounted how he witnessed the suspect coming at both him and his girlfriend and the manner in which he reacted:
“We saw the guy running toward us with some type of wooden log, and he started swinging at us. I tried to block a hit and ran to the exit of the station – and he started running towards my girlfriend. So I screamed at him to come towards me – and he started rushing at me.
“As I hopped across the turnstile I screamed at the person at the booth to call the police. And then he struck me behind the arm and on the head a couple times. And then he rushed out of the station.”
Another victim, 37-year-old Thakuri Namgya, stated his SUV was allegedly stolen by the suspect after he was attacked by Thompson after wrapping up his evening as an Uber driver:
“I confronted him, saying ‘What are you doing?’
“He had like a huge log and slammed me in the head…I was dazed and could barely defend myself. He slammed my arm and wrist.”
After being attacked, Namgya said he simply surrendered his vehicle to the suspect. Namgya said he required eight stitches to his head and seven near his eye:
“I never thought this would happen in that neighborhood. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is wrong.”
Thompson apparently ditched the stolen SUV to continue terrorizing pedestrians. A family visiting from Texas, 42-year-old Ernesto Nava and his 40-year-old wife Ibonne, along with their two daughters ages 5 and 12, were among Thompson’s next victims.
Nava stated that the suspect attacked his wife and himself without provocation:
“We were just walking around when this guy suddenly hit my wife in the leg with this huge piece of wood…like a thick 2-foot piece from a tree. I jumped at him and, as I was protecting my family, he hit me real hard.
“Everyone was screaming, but he didn’t say a word and then just kept going and was trying to hit other people.”
Following the incident, while Nava said he loves visiting New York, his two daughters “are too scared now” to ever go back to the state.
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