David Baril, age 32, was sentenced yesterday to serve 22 years in prison for a spree of assaults that he committed in New York City over a three-day span in 2015. He pleaded guilty to multiple counts of second-degree assault and attempted aggravated assault against a police officer while wielding a black claw hammer. According to District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Manhattan, New Yorkers were “gripped with fear” during the three-day assault spree.

In addition to the 22-year prison term he must serve, Baril was sentenced to post-release supervision for five years. In Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday, Justice Michael Obus asked Baril if he had anything to say.

Baril offered a one-word response: “Nah.”

Police contend that Baril has paranoid schizophrenia. Courtney Groves, assistant district attorney outlined Baril’s “Reign Of Terror” that started in Manhattan on May 11, 2015, when he assaulted a 20-year-old man, at random. He used the hammer to strike the man in the back of the head. Later, the same day, he attacked two women, ages 28 and 33, striking each in the head.

Recognition of suspect led to assault on police officer

Witness accounts and security camera footage led to Baril’s identity as the suspect in the hammer attacks. Police officers Geraldo Casaigne and Lauren O’Rouke recognized Baril, two days later, from NYPD photos of the “wanted” suspect. She, then, approached the suspect, according to the district attorney.

Baril reacted by chasing her into an intersection, pulling out a hammer, and battering O’Rourke in the head and body repeatedly prior to Casaigne drawing his gun and firing four shots at the suspect.

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Those shots ended Baril’s rampage.

Before the hammer assaults in 2015, Baril was arrested eight times. One of the arrests resulted when he attempted to attack a police officer, according to authorities at the time of the attempted assault.

Attacker’s mother contends son not responsible for his actions

Sarah Wellington, Baril’s mother, believes the length of her son’s prison sentenced is “too stiff,” in light Baril’s psychiatric history. Outside of the courtroom yesterday, she said her son has had a mental illness for a long time and “everybody knows that.”

Justice Obus said Baril’s mental health would have “been an issue” if the case had gone to trial, which was moot after the defendant accepted a plea bargain, agreeing to reduced charges. His mother, however, wanted him to have a trial. After he was sentenced, she shouted that she plans to appeal her son’s case. Because he is allegedly mentally ill, she believes that he is not responsible for his actions.

According to Wellington, Baril began exhibiting symptoms of mental illness after he graduated Cardinal Spellman High School and went away for college.

District attorney praises officers

Throughout his sentencing hearing, Baril remained in a wheelchair. Wellington attributed his confinement in the chair to permanent injuries that resulted from being shot four times. Meanwhile, the district attorney commended O’Rourke and Casaigne for apprehending Baril. O’Rourke and Casaigne attended Baril’s sentencing proceedings yesterday yet did not speak.

Vance stated that the officers’ “heroic actions” ended the assaults against people Baril chose at random. The district attorney also thanked the officers for their bravery.