NYPD Officer Beaten Over Head With Chair Shoots Attacker With Bullets

New York Police Officer Lesly Lafontant fired six rounds during the confrontation, killing his attacker, Kwesi Ashun.

Brooklyn, NY – A veteran New York police officer who was beaten in the face with a chair on Friday night emerged from his medically-induced coma on Sunday.

New York Police Officer Lesly Lafontant, a well-respected, 21-year veteran-of-the-force, was able to recognize people, could sit up in his bed, and has begun speaking again, the New York Post reported.

The 53-year-old officer remains in the intensive care unit at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center.

He suffered multiple orbital fractures, as well as an eye injury and a broken cheekbone during the violent assault.

“He has some very serious injuries, but it’s a good sign that he’s sitting up,” one source told the New York Post. “He has a long road ahead of him.

The events that led to the attack on the veteran officer began at approximately 5:40 p.m. on Friday, when a panhandler entered the Gold Mine Nail Salon on Mother Gaston Boulevard.

The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Dewayne Hawkes, asked to use the business’s bathroom, but was turned away, the New York Daily News reported.

Undeterred, Hawkes made his way to the nail salon’s kitchen, locked the door, and began urinating on the floor.

According to the criminal complaint, one employee “heard the sound of the defendant urinating in said kitchen, and observed urine on the floor of the kitchen when defendant left.”

Employees spotted Officer Lafontant and his partner passing by in their patrol vehicle, so they flagged them down.

But as the officers attempted to take Hawkes into custody, t-shirt vendor Kwesi Ashun burst into the salon, and slammed a chair into Officer Lafontant’s face, the New York Daily News reported.

The injured officer’s rookie partner deployed his Taser, but it was not effective, according to the New York Post.

The veteran officer was able to fire six rounds as he was being attacked, and at least one bullet struck 33-year-old Ashun in the head.

Ashun was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the New York Post.

Meanwhile, Hawkes fled the scene with handcuffs dangling from one wrist, the New York Daily News reported.

He was apprehended by additional officers a short while later, and was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, obstructing governmental administration, and resisting arrest, according to WNBC.

Hawkes also had a warrant out for his arrest at the time of the incident.

Officer Lafontant’s rookie partner was transported to the hospital for treatment of tinnitus due to the gunshot blasts, and has since been released, the New York Post reported.

It was not the first time Ashun had attacked a New York police officer.

In October of 2004, he sliced Officer James Sinnott’s face with a knife, cutting him from his ear to his neck in an unprovoked attack, the New York Post reported.

Officer Sinnott had been doing nothing more than walking past him in the moments before the altercation.

After slashing the officer, Ashun walked away.

Officers used pepper spray and batons to take him into custody, and ultimately transported him to the hospital as an “emotionally disturbed person,” according to the New York Daily News.

A second officer, New York Police Officer Brian Risano, was also injured during the brawl.

The case against Ashun was sealed, and the disposition is unknown.

Just 11 days before he violently attacked Officer Lafontant, Ashun was evaluated by the New York Health Department’s “Mobile Crisis Team,” his sister told the New York Post.

Ashun allegedly had a history of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but the team determined that he was not a risk to himself or others.

“He struggled with mental illness and we tried desperately to get help for him to no avail,” Ashun’s sister, Ama Bartley, told the New York Post. “Eleven days later, this is what happens…We tried, we really tried to get him help. He was a beautiful soul. He was just battling some heavy things.”

State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker described Ashun as a “peaceful young man.”

“I interacted with him moments before this took place. He asked me if I would be interested in buying the T-shirts he was selling,” Walker told the New York Post. “He was promoting a business he was trying to kick off.”

"Our community is definitely traumatized today because this was a senseless death,” the assemblywoman told WNBC.

Ashun’s friend, Kabar Walker, said that Ashun was not a threat to anyone, and alleged that the officer’s use of deadly force was “excessive,” the New York Daily News reported.

“He was less than threat than a person who had a knife or a gun," he told the paper. "You [also] have [a] partner to help you too, to restrain him in some way, without having to use deadly force on him.”

Kabar said that if Ashun had some kind of marker to identify him as a mentally ill individual, the officer might have tried harder not to use deadly force as he was being bludgeoned in the face.

“Maybe they can show some kind of wristband or color band on they ankle so when the cops see these things on these guys they can think twice,” he suggested, according to WCBS.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the attack on Officer Lafontant was “not acceptable,” and demanded a “full investigation” into the incident.

“A civilian assaulted a police officer violently and that is not acceptable,” de Blasio told the New York Daily News. “We need an investigation of everything that happened here as per usual with the use of force, but I also want to make very clear we’ve got an officer in a medically induced coma right now. I just need to put that front and center — that is not acceptable.”

Comments (62)
No. 1-32
gfc1963
gfc1963

The usual suspects again. And of course 'he was a gentle person would not hurt a fly'". No he would not - just bash a cop over the head with a chair!

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

JFC - yes, let's put colored wristbands on the mentally ill, what could possibly go wrong?

Janken
Janken

Cowardly De Blazio trying to act tough. WE NEEĎ A FULL INVESTIGATION. As if one wasnt going to be done. Wait till they take the guns away from police. This ass needs to be voted out of the country

LitheSteel
LitheSteel

Had previously slashed an officer on the face, case and disposition sealed WTF!!? And he is free to do it again. I am glad he is dead.

DixieBlue
DixieBlue

Who has control of D Blah's mind? Doesn't sound like his usual reaction. He must be worried about another civilian there, because he sure doesn't worry about his officers.

Woobie46
Woobie46

FUCK mental "disease". These people have a DOPE disease. The second one should be hung just outside of the nail salon. Damn these people to hell

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

And the family will threaten to sue, saying NYPD failed to deescalate the situation with an emotionally disturbed person, and the Mayor will offer them a ghetto lottery paycheck, as has been done in the past.

I'd have more respect for the mayor if he said "if you attack one of my officers, and they need to shoot you, not only will you be charged with the crime, but the city will sue you for any and all medical expenses related to the injuries the officer sustains, and we will back our officer and make it clear that you won't get a dime from the city."

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

The guy with poor bladder control, Dewayne Hawkes, was charged with

  • 2 counts of criminal trespass
  • resisting arrest
  • obstructing government administrator

He was released on his own recognizance.

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcrim_attorney/Detail?which=appearance&docketNumber=/N83tYf49gAZzUzV9dmT1g==&countyId=Mx3NDQ8QLq7VMaHuMnNJWw==&docketId=2j/j6fyIFxWU9OqUGsf4fA==&docketDseq=o6PDyKIx4BvSfbvyCgDnHw==&defendantName=Hawkes,+Dewayne&court=Kings+Criminal+Court&courtType=L&recordType=C&recordNum=ZF8GeFCNa7qUrzcx0qfxIA==

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

His family should never let them out of their sight. He should have a family member tailing him, correcting him, basically babysitting him 24/7. Because they failed to take care of their family member they want to blame the police for shooting him. He had the ability to kill that officer and being shot.......well, bummer. He did the wrong thing and now his family will try to claim the ghetto lottery because they can't control their own......... It's always someone elses fault isn't it?

Aramovich
Aramovich

Why don't police carry nightsticks any more? One good shot to the shins or a poke in the solar plexus or a rap to the collar bone and it's all over and no one gets shot.

seaker of truth
seaker of truth

Give me a moment to reflect … Ashun He was a beautiful soul. He was just battling some heavy things.” State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker described Ashun as a “peaceful young man.” “I interacted with him moments before this took place. He asked me if I would be interested in buying the T-shirts he was selling,” Walker told the New York Post. “He was promoting a business he was trying to kick off.” "Our community is definitely traumatized today because this was a senseless death,” the assemblywoman told WNBC. Ashun’s friend, Kabar Walker, said that Ashun was not a threat to anyone, and alleged that the officer’s use of deadly force was “excessive,” the New York Daily News reported.

seaker of truth
seaker of truth

The above described sweet gentile man, not chaperoned by any family member and with a past record of attacking a police officer's face with a knife then attacks yet another officer with a chair causing multiple orbital fractures, as well as an eye injury and a broken cheekbone during the violent assault and the officer protects himself against Ashun who doesn't go down or stop his attack after being hit with a stun gun then gets shot prior to killing the officer and dies. Now the family wants compensation from the city for wrongful death? Buahahahahahahaha !!!

investigator
investigator

I am so glad the Officer is going to be okay and I hope his healing moves swiftly!! I am also glad the POS that was allowed to run the streets of NY is dead!

Debkk9
Debkk9

Isn't deblasio the dumbass that wants to disarm the police??? The officer acted appropriately considering someone was hurting him... could have killed him.

LEO0301
LEO0301

"State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker described Ashun as a “peaceful young man.” “I interacted with him moments before this took place. He asked me if I would be interested in buying the T-shirts he was selling,” Walker told the New York Post. “He was promoting a business he was trying to kick off.” "Our community is definitely traumatized today because this was a senseless death,” the assemblywoman told WNBC."

No wonder people no longer take "these people" (AKA "you people") seriously. It also helps explain why Trump was voted into office.

Grog
Grog

Too bad the police didn't shoot him and take him out in 2004! Colored wrist band........now that's an idea....for the lame-brained!

Gramercy
Gramercy

I carry...and let me just say..if someone was bashing MY head in with a chair...I would be shooting to KILL! All six would have been in the perpetrator if I WAS FORTUNATE! Way to go Officer LaFontant..I pray for your arduous recovery and rehabilitation! May God be with you all the way, every day!

TheHammer
TheHammer

Get him out of Brookdale Medical Center! He'll be dead by the time he's ready to come home.

javaguy746
javaguy746

Don't you have to be a cop for 25 years to get real bullets? I thought under 25 years you only got rubber bullets. What's this country coming to!!!!!

Inquirer63
Inquirer63

“A peaceful young man?” “A beautiful soul?” Let’s face it: this guy unprovoked slashed an officers face and, in this case, nearly killed an officer. He needed to be institutionalized or at least monitored and escorted by capable family members. Sorry, but the use of deadly force, after the taser failed, was the only option available to prevent the officer’s death.

Karma59
Karma59

Prayers for Officer LaFontant! And, congratulations on removing a threat to other officers!

bryantrent
bryantrent

Good Job NYPD

BatCrapCrazy
BatCrapCrazy

Prayers for a full recovery for Officer Lafontant.

xxcloroxx
xxcloroxx

Latrice Walker needs removed from her office. Thank god that this animal is off the streets and in a place where he can't hurt another living being. Thank you officer for your sacrifice, I wish you a full recovery.

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

Of course the committee decided he was no danger to others. First, he’s not in their neighborhood. Second, thanks to the liberals several decades ago - there are no places to put these people. It’s a shame what’s happening in this country.

Jeff1245
Jeff1245

State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker described Ashun as a “peaceful young man.”???....Sure, Thats why he came in and bashed someone with a chair numerous times...He is cured now.

pbm4jc
pbm4jc

anyone who bashes an officer on the face with a chair unprovoked, deserves a .40 in the head. every time.

roadking2017
roadking2017

that's the problem most are junkies

Troy5
Troy5

Is he a chairman now ?

Fire one
Fire one

Peaceful soul my ass, the crisis unit, sure screw the Pooch on this one .he cuts a Police officer , nothing happens To him , And 11 days later he beat a policeman to the point that he had to be put into a coma. That individual got what he deserved. And that assemblywoman needs to be fired. She’s just protecting her position by saying that individual death was senseless.

dc_ox
dc_ox

I would absolutely love to see Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, that called him a "peaceful young man", get slashed in the face or hospitalized from a beating and then turn around and defend the person like this.

The logic that he tried to sell her a shirt and was therefore peaceful is so ridiculous. Plenty of violent people have the capacity to be friendly. And because he was mentally disturbed, I do think it's sad that his actions led to his death, but they were =his actions= and pretending he had no part in the end result is a denial of cause and effect.

maxx1676
maxx1676

He was a good boy...wanted to be a Doctor.