A video of a violent attack that took place in front of several witnesses in Brooklyn, New York, has been circulating on social media and angering viewers who expressed outrage that more people did not try to intervene.
Twitter account @NY_Scoop posted a clip on February 18 that shows a man beating a bicyclist with a baseball bat, leaving the victim unconscious in the street. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to Kings County Hospital in critical condition.
A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department confirmed to Heavy via email that the attacker was identified as Ashanti Robinson, 46. He was arrested and is facing charges including attempted murder and assault, court records show.
Here’s what you need to know:
Robinson Was Recorded Striking the Bicyclist 8 Times Before a Witness Stepped In
— NYC Scoop (@NY_Scoop) February 18, 2021
The 1:19 video was filmed by a witness sitting in a vehicle at the intersection. The clip begins with the bicyclist, who was wearing a bright blue jacket, already on the ground. He is still straddling the bike as he holds his upper body up with his right arm. The victim is seen holding his left arm up in an attempt to defend himself.
The attacker, now identified as Robinson, swings the bat twice onto the victim’s head. The second swing appears to knock the victim temporarily unconscious as his upper body drops to the ground.
But Robinson continues to strike the victim even though he is down. He slams the bicyclist with the bat four more times before briefly pausing. Passing drivers honked but it’s unclear whether those witnesses were reacting to the attack.
As Robinson prepares to start swinging again, a witness wearing bright red pants approaches them. Robinson hits the victim twice more as the witness, who is taller and larger than Robinson, appears to say something to get Robinson to stop the attack.
Robinson walks out of view of the camera as the man in the red pants approaches the victim, who by this point is not moving at all. Robinson then walks back into the shot and says something to the witness while appearing to point the bat in the victim’s direction. It’s unclear what was said; the person who was filming was inside a vehicle and did not capture the conversation. Robinson walks a few feet away again as a second witness comes to stand beside the victim.
But the confrontation was not done. At 1:06, Robinson rushes closer to the victim and holds up the baseball bat as if to strike him again. The witness in the red pants holds up his arm to block Robinson, who then walks away again.
The NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Heavy that the victim was a 54-year-old man. He was hit multiple times in the head with the bat and was in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital. According to the New York Daily News, the victim remained unconscious on February 18.
Witnesses Pointed Out Robinson to NYPD Officers Who Approached After Noticing a Crowd at the Intersection
The attack occurred on February 17 around 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Parkside and Flatbush Avenue, the New York City Police Department confirmed to Heavy. This area is within the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, on the southeast side of Prospect Park.
The New York Post reported that the two men did not know each other. It’s unclear what prompted the attack. The NYPD spokesperson did not respond to that question in the email exchange with Heavy. According to the NYPD, Robinson lives down the street from where the attack occurred.
The area is patrolled by the 71st Precinct. According to the New York Daily News, NYPD officers responded after noticing a crowd that had gathered at the intersection. It’s unclear whether anyone called 911. The newspaper, citing police, reported that Robinson was still standing near the scene when officers walked up and witnesses pointed him out.
Heavy also reached out to the 71st Precinct, which is the NYPD division that patrols this area, to try to learn more information about the attack. As of this writing, we had not heard back.
Robinson Was Arrested at the Scene & Could Face an Attempted Murder Charge, Online Records Show
Robinson was arrested at the scene. Online records with the New York City Department of Corrections show Robinson was booked on February 17 and as of this writing, remains behind bars. His next court hearing was scheduled for February 23.
The NYPD initially told Heavy that Robinson was facing charges including assault and criminal possession of a weapon. According to the case record on the New York State Unified Court System, Robinson could also face an attempted murder charge.
The Daily News reported that Robinson was arrested in 2014 and charged with weapons possession. According to the outlet, Robinson was arrested on Flatbush Avenue when officers spotted him with “two 15-inch swords hanging from his belt.” According to the New York Post, Robinson has been arrested at least 14 times but that the case records had been sealed.