A police officer shot a 28-year-old man in the chest Thursday after an altercation in a Harlem park, authorities said.
Police say an officer on solo patrol approached a group of men who were apparently arguing in the park at about 1:30 p.m.
The officer and one of the men got into an argument, and the man tried to attack the officer, according to police, who interviewed witnesses. The officer then used pepper-spray on the 28-year-old man and tried to handcuff him, but the man ran away.
The officer caught up with him and the two struggled before the officer fired a shot, hitting the man in the chest, according to police.
The man was taken to Harlem Hospital in critical condition. The officer was not seriously injured.
No weapon was found at the scene of the shooting, according to police sources. The officer who fired his weapon has been with the department for less than 10 years.
Alfonso Williams cleans the park for the city and said the area where the group of men were arguing is a common hangout for drug dealers.
"Drug users up there, drug sellers, homeless people up there," he said. "There's a lot of stuff going up there."
But neighbor and frequent park visitor Tarek Hammani said the area is turning and is much safer than it used to be.
"It's a pretty cool neighborhood," he said. "In the summer, there are a lot of picnics and it's pretty safe in general:"