Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Canadian Drifter Gets 14 Years in Manhattan Hammer Attack

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013  |  Updated 11:01 PM EDT
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Drifter Gets 14 Years in Manhattan Hammer Attack

A Canadian drifter who slammed a claw hammer into a stranger's head in a bizarre park-bench attack has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Douglas Epp made a rambling statement at his sentencing Tuesday. He said the attack was part of what he called a "suicide bid," and he mentioned a woman he called his best friend.

The Manhattan district attorney's office says Epp abruptly attacked a Spanish tourist sitting near him on a park bench near City Hall in July 2012.

Victim Hugo Alejandre was treated for a spinal fracture. Alejandre was visiting from Barcelona.

Epp told investigators he believed Alejandre had made insulting remarks about him.

Epp pleaded guilty Oct. 8 to attempted murder and identity theft. He'd used a former acquaintance's name and other information when arrested.

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