MANHATTAN (AP/PIX11) — The CUNY Baruch professor accused of assaulting two NYPD officers on the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday night was released on his own recognizance, a judge ruled Sunday evening.
Eric Linsker, a 29-year-old from Brooklyn, was arrested and charged with assault of police officers, robbery, reckless endangerment, rioting and possession of marijuana. He was held at the 5th precinct in Lower Manhattan and then freed without bail following his arraignment in court Sunday.
“The charges are extremely weak,” lawyer Martin Stolar told PIX11 News. “This is not a violent protester.”
In court, the assistant district attorney called the protest an incredibly violent event.
Officials said the assaulted officers were trying to arrest a man who was attempting to toss a garbage can onto officers below. They were treated for bumps, bruises and a broken nose. A backpack full of hammers and a mask was found.
Mayor de Blasio went to Twitter to address the incident afterwards.
NYPD officials also held a press conference Saturday night, where Chief of Patrol James O’Neill spoke about the alleged assaults.
“Our officers have shown extraordinary restraint and patience in the face of verbal abuse and much more,” O’Neill said. He continued, saying that that sort of thing comes with the territory of protests, but they draw the line at an assault on an officer.
Linsker is currently an adjunct professor at Baruch College where he teaches one composition course, Mitchel B. Wallerstein, president of the college confirmed.
“Working with The City University of New York, Baruch will cooperate fully, as called upon, in any criminal investigation. While we believe firmly in the exercise of free speech, we deplore violence of any kind and will support the official investigation of this matter,” Wallerstein said.
Protesters flooded Washington Square Park Saturday afternoon for Millions March NYC, which was part of a day of protests across the nation against police killings of unarmed black men. The deaths include those of Eric Garner on Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
After the march ended, independent protesters continued to make their way around the city and eventually stopped traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge for about an hour.
Approximately 25,000 people came out for Millions March NYC, the NYPD said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.