Hammer-Wielding Man Sentenced to 22 Years After Striking Random People, Police Officer

A man was sentenced to 22 years in state prison for attacking an NYPD officer and three other victims using a hammer in Manhattan in the course of three days in 2015, authorities said.

David Baril, 32, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer and second-degree assault.

“For two full days in 2015, New Yorkers were gripped with fear as a hammer-wielding man was on the loose in Manhattan,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “David Baril randomly attacked three strangers in three separate, public locations in the span of a few hours on a single day. Two days later, the heroic actions of two police officers brought his spree to an end, but not before the defendant turned his hammer on one of the officers. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I would like to thank those officers for their bravery, as well as the prosecutors in my office for bringing this defendant to justice.”

Baril randomly struck a 20-year-old man in the back f the head with a white-claw hammer on May 11, 2015.

Several hours later, he attacked a woman at Union Square Park on the side of the head, then struck another woman on the back of her head.

Two days later, two police officers recognized Baril from footage and eyewitness accounts and approached him, when Baril lunged at and repeatedly struck Officer Lauren O'Rourke. He was then shot by the other officer.

Baril, who has a history of mental illness, including paranoia and schizophrenia, voluntarily left a mental health facility in December 2014, authorities said.

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