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NYPD: Michael Verbitsky charged with assault on police officer in Gracie Mansion pellet gun shooting

A side view of Gracie Mansion.

A side view of Gracie Mansion. Photo Credit: Flickr / edenpictures

A 19-year-old Manhattan man has been charged with assault on a police officer after he fired "a pellet projectile" that struck a member of Mayor Bill de Blasio's security detail Sunday outside Gracie Mansion, the NYPD said.

The bodyguard, a police officer on duty outside the mayor's home, suffered a "very minor" injury when she was hit in the small of the back shortly after 7:15 p.m., police said. The mayor was not present at the time.

The suspect has been identified as Michael Verbitsky, of 170 East End Ave., across the street from Gracie Mansion.

He was charged with assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, as well as reckless endangerment, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of criminal mischief. Arraignment details were not available.

It was not immediately clear Monday if Verbitsky was represented by legal counsel.

The announcement came after police said they had detained two people -- the other was identified only as a woman, 17. She was not charged.

Detectives did not know what prompted the shooting.

Police did say there had been "two previous reports of apparent BB/pellets causing damage" to windows in the area, but did not say if those were related to the mischief charges.

Police said the officer struck in the assault was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where she was treated and released.

CORRECTION: In an initial version of this story the suspect's last name was incorrectly spelled based on information provided by police.


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