A naked man wandering around with a knife in an East Harlem playground was pepper sprayed and Tasered by cops yesterday after he refused to drop his weapon, according to authorities.
The NYPD says that at around 3 p.m. yesterday, the unidentified nude man was stalking through Martin Luther King playground at 114th Street and Lenox Avenue, holding a knife—he appeared to be emotionally disturbed. When cops arrived, they asked him to drop his weapon, and he allegedly refused. Then cops say they sprayed him with pepper spray and used a Taser device on him.
The suspect, who appears to be in his 40s, has since been arrested and charged with assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and public lewdness; he is currently at St. Luke's Hospital, where he is in stable condition and will be issued a psych evaluation. Investigators say he has refused to provide them with a name or identification.
Witnesses told the Daily News that the man had initially been wearing boxers and a T-shirt, but stripped in front of children playing in the park. "He goes to the sprinkler and gets butt naked. (A group of guys) were chasing him but they didn't want to get into the water," one witness, who was at the playground with her four-year-old daughter, told the tabloid. Added another witness, "It's a nice day. You are out in the park and next thing you know there's a naked man with a knife. One second there were kids playing, then we were all running." The suspect also allegedly pushed an elderly man to the ground.
The Daily News has video of the man's arrest: