BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Police on Saturday announced an arrest of a homeless man in a string of at least four random attacks — and possibly more — on pedestrians in the Village and Chelsea area. In at least one of the assaults, he reportedly made anti-white statements.
According to cops, Todd Lyons, 33, of the Barbour Hotel, at 333 W. 36th St., was arrested Fri., Aug. 23, at 5:30 p.m., and charged with three counts of assault as a hate crime and three counts of assault.
The New York Post reported that a vocational counselor, Gregory Magliore, at the Barbour Hotel, tipped off police after seeing a shirtless attacker in video circulated of the suspect. Lyons frequently went around shirtless, he said.
The Barbour is a 95-unit supportive-housing residence where Lyons started living in mid-August, according to the Post. Magliore sensed the man was a bit off when he was admitting him and thought he “may be going through something.”
Police said that Lyons started his rampage on the evening of Fri., Aug. 9. Around 9:11 p.m., a 56-year-old man was walking in front of 65 Fifth Ave, between 13th and 14th Sts., when the suspect pushed him from behind, knocking him down, then fled. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was treated for a head laceration and bruising and body pain.
Then, a few days later, according to police, on Wed., Aug. 14, around 8:37 p.m., a 64-year-old woman was walking along Greenwich Ave. past Jackson Square Park, near Eighth Ave., when Lyons suddenly struck her on her neck and shoulder with a wooden stick, then ran off. The victim was treated at the scene for pain and redness where the attacker had hit her. Lyons reportedly has not been charged in this case yet, however.
In a third incident, about 40 minutes later that same night, a 20-year-old woman was walking in Soho on Wooster St. just north of Canal St., when the same man, according to police, snuck up behind her and threw a brick at the back of the head, then fled. The victim, who suffered a bruise to her head, was treated at the scene.
Allegedly circling back north to Chelsea, Lyons two hours later is said to have targeted a 58-year-old man strolling along Eighth Ave. between 19th and 20th Sts. Police said he struck the victim in the face and made anti-white statements, then fled westbound on 18th St.
The Post reported Lyons yelled at this victim, as he punched him, “Get off the street, honky! You f—ing honky, you don’t belong here!”
The victim sustained a bloody nose but refused medical attention at the scene.
In no instance did the attacker have any previous exchange with his victims before assaulting them.
The Post additionally reported that the Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating if the suspect is linked to three other incidents: Lyons allegedly attacked two other people on Fri., Aug. 16, including a 25-year-old woman at 1:30 p.m. in front of the Google building, at 111 Fifth Ave., between 15th and 16th Sts., and also a 72-year-old man on Union Square East at E. 15th St.; he is also suspected of assaulting a 64-year-old woman at Seventh Ave. and 14th St. at 6:30 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 23.