Police fired several shots at an emotionally disturbed man near Times Square Saturday night believing he had a weapon. But police missed the man and wounded two innocent bystanders. Lori Bordonaro reports.
Police officers fired several shots on a crowded Manhattan street near Times Square on Saturday night, missing an emotionally disturbed man they believed had a weapon but striking two bystanders, authorities said.
According to police, the officers saw 35-year-old Glenn Broadnax walking in the street through traffic and sometimes blocking vehicles just before 10 p.m. at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. Police and witnesses said Broadnax, of Brooklyn, appeared to be attempting to be struck by a car.
"He threw himself in front of a car, in front of the wheels," said John Gilliland, a witness who captured the chaotic scene on a cell phone video. "I thought this car was going to run him over."
Police said after officers approached Broadnax, he reached into his pocket as if grabbing a weapon and then pretended to fire a gun at them. Two officers fired a total of three shots at Broadnax, but missed, striking a 54-year-old woman in the right knee and a grazing a 35-year-old woman in the buttocks, officials said.
The women were taken to hospitals, where they both were listed in stable condition. Neither had injuries considered life-threatening, police said.
Broadnax was taken into custody after a police sergeant subdued him with a Taser. No weapons were found on Broadnax, but police said they did find cocaine on him.
He was arrested and charged with menacing, obstructing governmental administration, riot, criminal possession of controlled substance, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Law enforcement sources said Broadnax has at least 23 prior arrests, some for robbery and assault, and has no prior history of mental illness.
Broadnax told detectives he was high, suffering from hallucinations, and trying to kill himself, sources said.
As is standard procedure, the two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on modified assignment while the investigation continues.
--Shimon Prokupecz and Lori Bordonaro contributed reporting.