FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan — An NYPD officer pummeled a man in a Manhattan subway station on Tuesday as three other officers held the man down.
After video of the incident went viral, the NYPD on Thursday said the man, identified as 50-year-old Alex Lowery, allegedly spat on, punched and head-butted police. The department also released their own video.
The officers spotted Lowery smoking a cigarette inside the South Ferry subway station and told the man he would be “ejected” from the station for the violation of MTA rules, police said. Lowery allegedly attacked the officers while they were headed up the stairs to the exit.
During the struggle, Lowery and the officers tumbled down the stairs and the 50-year-old man allegedly punched an officer in the face.
Video released by the NYPD shows an officer on the station floor hitting someone on top of him.
When the viral video taken by a commuter starts, an officer can be seen swinging at Lowery 11 times. Officers repeatedly told Lowery to give him his hand.
“Give me your hand, motherf—-r,” an officer can be heard saying. “Don’t reach for me!”
Police cuffed Lowery and arrested him on charges of assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, violation of local law and disorderly conduct.
Lowery was arrested in 2017 for criminal possession of a weapon. In that incident, he held a knife to a woman’s throat in a subway station.
An officer injured his head and knee in Tuesday’s encounter, police said. Another officer injured his elbow.
The officers were doing what they were supposed to do, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.
“For their efforts, they were spat on, attacked, thrown down a flight of stairs, and one police officer nearly had his ear ripped off,” Lynch said. “None of that assault was shown in the partial video circulating online, because the pro-criminal crowd doesn’t want you to know how truly dangerous the subways have become – even for police officers.””