In a bizarre confrontation last night, NYPD officers shot two bystanders while trying to arrest a man who was blocking traffic just a block from Time Square.
An unidentified 35-year-old man "was blocking traffic and appeared to be attempting to be hit by cars when a police officer on foot patrol attempted to take him into custody in the intersection," according to police commissioner Ray Kelly. After he resisted arrest on West 42nd street and Eighth Avenue, the man allegedly pretended to point a gun at officers, who then fired on him.
A 54-year-old woman, who was using a walker, was hit in the leg and rushed the Bellevue Hospital. A 35-year-old woman was shot in the buttocks and taken to Roosevelt Hospital.
“The only thing the individual had on his person was a wallet which was recovered from his right rear pocket,” Commissioner Kelly told reporters.
After stumbling around Eighth Avenue, the man, according to witnesses, pulled out his Metrocard and pointed it at officers like a gun.
Witness Mike Favilla told the Daily News that the man appeared to be mentally ill. “He definitely looked like he was high on something or was mentally off. He couldn’t walk in a straight line. He was limping and jerking his legs around," Favilla said.
The man was hit by several cars but was not hit by any of the three shots fired by the NYPD officers. He was eventually tasered and subdued. In the footage above, the NYPD warns bystanders to get back from the man, while the crowd encourages the police officers not to shoot the man. Last year, a mentally ill man with a knife was shot and killed by NYPD officers in Times Square.