Police arrested a 29-year-old Brooklyn man early Sunday morning in connection with an assault on two NYPD lieutenants on the Brooklyn Bridge at the end of a massive march over recent police-involved deaths, authorities said.
Eric Linsker of Pacific Street, who teaches at Baruch College, faces two counts of robbery, two counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of riot, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of obstructing governmental administration, a police spokeswoman said.
He also faces an unlawful possession of marijuana charge, the spokeswoman said. Officers said they recovered a backpack, which they believe belongs to Linsker, containing three hammers and a black face mask.
Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein said in a statement that Linsker is teaching one composition course at the college.
"Working with The City University of New York, Baruch will cooperate fully, as called upon, in any criminal investigation," Wallerstein said. "While we believe firmly in the exercise of free speech, we deplore violence of any kind and will support the official investigation of this matter."
Linsker was arrested at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, police said.
The lieutenants were hospitalized Saturday night, one with a broken nose.
They were on the roadway of the bridge about 8 p.m. when they heard reports of "debris being thrown on the walkway" at police officers who were walking alongside demonstrators involved in Saturday's New York City rally against police shootings of unarmed black men, said NYPD Chief of Department James P. O'Neill.
The lieutenants, assigned to the Legal Bureau, saw "a male attempting to throw a garbage can at the cops on the roadway," he said. They tried to arrest the man, but "numerous protesters intervened and prevented the arrest."
Several people then assaulted the officers, said Deputy Commissioner John Miller. They were "knocked to the ground, kicked by various people, kicked in the face and in the head, while the group attempted to steal their portable radios and tear away their jackets."
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Brooklyn Bridge incident "marks an ugly and unacceptable departure from the demonstrations thus far. Let us be clear: there is no place whatsoever for violence of any kind, whether against the police or against our fellow citizens, in New York City."
With Mackenzie Rigg
and The Associated Press