Man who used tree branch in NYC assault spree arrested

The man attacked half a dozen people with the branch and stole two vehicles.

A man who used a tree branch in an assault spree throughout downtown Manhattan has been arrested.

The chaos began Sunday evening when New Jersey resident Bryan Thompson, 43, allegedly struck three people over the head on the subway platform for the 1 train on Canal Street just after 6:30 p.m., ABC New York station WABC reported.

Thompson then allegedly left the station and struck a fourth victim in her head on Varick and Canal Streets before approaching a car and attacking the driver, police said.

When the driver of that car fled, Thompson allegedly took the vehicle, sped off and then crashed into two parked cars, according to authorities.

After crashing, Thompson allegedly smashed the side window of another vehicle, police said, but the female driver of that car did not get out.

Thompson then allegedly attacked a man and woman on the street nearby with the tree branch before approaching a third vehicle and hitting it with the branch.

When the driver of that vehicle got out, Thompson got behind the wheel and drove away, police said. The car was spotted on West 24th Street and 12th Avenue at about 7 p.m.

Thompson reportedly lost control of the car, crashed into an NYPD radio vehicle and hit a center median before coming to a stop on the West Side Highway near Chelsea Piers, according to police.

When Thompson refused commands by police officers to exit the vehicle, they broke the driver's side window and deployed a stun gun on him.

Thompson was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with several counts of assault and robbery, according to police.

The first four victims suffered lacerations to their head, while the man attacked on the street sustained a broken arm, police said. The woman on the street suffered lacerations and bruising to her leg.

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