VIDEO: NYPD Officer Beaten Into A Coma, Cop Criticized For Shooting Attacker

Holly Matkin

New York Police Officer Lesly Lafontant was in a medically-induced coma for three days following the brutal attack.

Brooklyn, NY – New York police have released bodycam footage that captured the moment when a suspect violently attacked a veteran officer and beat him in the face with a metal chair as he was making an arrest (video below).

New York Police Officer Lesly Lafontant, a well-respected, 21-year veteran-of-the-force, was able to fire six rounds as he was being attacked by 33-year-old Kwesi Ashun, according to the New York Post.

At least one bullet struck Ashun in the head, killing him.

Officer Lafontant was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where he remained in a medically-induced coma for several days.

The events that led to the attack on the veteran officer began at approximately 5:40 p.m. on Oct. 25, when a panhandler, 26-year-old Dewayne Hawkes, entered the Gold Mine Nail Salon on Mother Gaston Boulevard, the New York Post reported.

Hawkes asked to use the business’s bathroom, but was turned away, according to the New York Daily News.

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.

Bodycam footage showed the officers as they made contact with an employee and Hawkes inside the front door of the business.

“He’s drunk!” an employee declared after the officer asked Hawkes for his identification.

“I didn’t wanna piss on the street – I would’ve got locked up!” the suspect argued.

Hawkes then began swearing at the employee and demanded to see her “green card,” the video showed.

The situation escalated to the point that the officers decided to place the suspect under arrest, at which time he began arguing and trying to pull away from them.

Security footage from a building across the street showed Ashun and other passersby as they peered through the shop windows at the brawl occurring inside.

A moment later, Ashun burst into the salon and began punching Officer Lafontant in the face with his fists in an unprovoked attack, New York Police Detective Martin Brownlee said in the video release.

The officers’ bodycams were knocked off during the struggle, police said.

Officer Lafontant’s rookie partner deployed his Taser, but it was not effective.

Ashun then slammed a metal chair into Officer Lafontant’s face and head repeatedly, causing “serious physical injury,” Det. Brownlee said.

That’s when Officer Lafontant fired his duty weapon, killing his attacker.

Ashun, who was hit by four of the rounds, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His assault on Officer Lafontant lasted just 12 seconds, Det. Brownlee said.

The 53-year-old officer suffered multiple orbital fractures, as well as an eye injury and a broken cheekbone during the violent assault, the New York Post reported at the time.

He was placed into a medically-induced coma for several days, and has since been released from the hospital, Det. Brownlee said.

Hawkes fled the scene with handcuffs dangling from one wrist while the officers were fighting with Ashun, 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.

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

In October of 2004, he sliced Officer James Sinnott’s face with a knife, cutting him from his ear to his neck in another 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.

You can watch bodycam and security footage of the officers’ encounter with Hawkes and Ashun in the video below:

Comments (77)
No. 1-42
Sgt167
Sgt167

State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker described Ashun as a “peaceful young man.” Really? A person with schizophrenia and violent tendencies and you describe them as peaceful? Unbelievable

Davidtwmay24
Davidtwmay24

The polite peaceful young man put an officer in the hospital in a medically induced coma.
Watch the video nothing peaceful about that.

Popeye
Popeye

Walker needs to do a couple of ride-alongs to see what the police have to put up with. People like that need to see reality. Sounds like an illegal's name. What would ICE have to say about it? Looks to me like he needed to be shot.

jsant277
jsant277

Peaceful? Attacking an officer with a chair and putting him in a coma is not "peaceful". I couldn't care less about Ashun...I'm glad the officer is all right. He is a positive influence in society, those two criminals are not.

Grannyg
Grannyg

He deserved exactly what he got. He was going to kill the officer. So it was him or Officer. He lost.

John62
John62

This is crazy.. what is this country turning into... a society run by social media.. the politicians that do not support the very same people that protect them should be removed from office #TRUMP2020

BubbaDon'tPlay
BubbaDon'tPlay

Ya know, I'm not even surprised at this stuff anymore. I not only back the officer 100% but schizo got what he earned, a bullet to the head!

S1375
S1375

So this person speaking for the man that attacked the cop really expects a mentally unstable schizophrenic person to keep some kind of wrist band or ankle band on to identify them. As mentally unstable. You cant get a mentally stable person to keep their ankle monitor on when they're on house arrest. But somehow this idiot Believes that a mentally unstable person will keep a pretty little wristband on. I think maybe that person needs to go for a mental evaluation if they believe that. And sure maybe this person was peaceful when she seen him just a few minutes prior. That's the whole point of mentally unstable. You never know. What's going to trigger them. into a murderous rage There are people with mental illnesses that can be productive members of society. But if you think a schizophrenic person is going to stay on their meds you're as crazy as they are. It's very rare that they do. And with a history like this person had They need to be regulated. Cardiff where the problem comes in with her medication is when they are unstable and they get institutionalized on the states dime They get their proper medication and take it like you're supposed to. Because they have people that do it for them and make sure they take it. Once they get out most of them don't have any insurance they can't pay for their medication and they have nobody to enforce to say take it if they can't afford it. And who hasn't forgotten to take regular medication of any kind at some point. All it takes is a day of them being off their medication and they're right back in their deluded state. And it's rinse-and-repeat all over again. But civil liberties State from being able to regulate these people and make sure they stay on their medication. I'm sorry, but if you're slashing people's faces with knives. Being a cop or be at just to individual citizens. And you continue these violent acts against people. And have this history of it. It's time for the states to step in and to regulate it if they're going to let you be on the street. Apparently this person defending this man that attacked officer doesn't Understand the definition of being mentally unstable, which is you can have moments of Lucidity. You can be kind and peaceful and appear perfectly normal And then do what he did. Cops do not have time to take your damn medical history when you're attacking them with a metal chair in the face. And it does say that his partner deployed the taser and it did no good, which is also a proven fact that people in these deluded states have superhuman strength. and often take Lethal Force to stop them. Beat you would singing a different tune if it was one of the employees in the nail salon. He's beat in the face with a damn chair. All this cop hating needs to stop. Yes, there are some cops Out there with a God complex. And that are just bad, they don't need to be a cop but Stop judging an entire profession. based on what a few bad people do And realize the cops are human beings to yes, they are held to a higher standard and I have to make split-second decisions. If that cop had shot that guy and that guy had been beating an employee of that nail salon with a metal chair. He would have been hailed a hero. He still a hero his young rookie partner Everybody in that nail salon. And even the guy that they were originally arresting live to see another day. At that cops expense What senseless is this person was on the streets And able to be triggered to do something like this again.

Bobby1874
Bobby1874

Diblasio's liberal utopia and sanctuary shithole, Little Andy Cuomo's bail and criminal justice reform and B Hussein Obama's legacy the emboldened thugs and the war on cops gives NY Shitty the win for shithole trifecta. 

When liberals rule criminals drool.
You show me a crime infested shit hole and I'll show you the Democrats in charge.

Thank a Democrat from the #PARTYOFCRIME

Democrats have morphed into the trade union for America's malignancies.  Thugs, criminals, MS13, dishonest attorneys, fake news personalities, radicals, illegals, and anything else that runs counter to our constitution, norms, laws, or sovereignty is a welcome vote to Democrats.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

What is wrong with these people? (Latrice and dead thug)

flybynight
flybynight

Suzielawyer
Suzielawyer

Hawkes was released with no bail.

Shepfershort
Shepfershort

Died of lead poisoning.

Mike65
Mike65

Kabar is a fool. Not violent. Less of a threat than knife. Seems to be pretty deadly with a chair. He seems to ignore the partner did tase him with no effect. As a partner I would have shot him too.
I’m amazed that the officer still had enough wherewithal to pull his weapon.
Ashen is right where he belongs.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

They need to open mental institutions and put these fruitcakes in there for life. A lot of this began when they closed them down, thinking they will take their meds and be ok. Guess what, they feel better, quit taking meds and this is what we get. Why aren't the families taking care of them, babysitting them instead of other innocent citizens being killed by them. His actions caused it, he got it.

markbc123
markbc123

Put Como an Diblassi in a radio car in queens and east new York for a month not a day less .Let them do in reports and ntake then back out on the streets. f them

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

This kind and gentle soul assaulted Police Officers on multiple occasions. It’s a crying shame the when something like this happens the family hollers he’s mental but prior to that everything is fine. I understand they just had him at doctors but the doctors said he’s fine.
It does seem that excuse is used a lot to justify there actions. At the end of the day he still almost killed a COP!!

ikaika
ikaika

A beautiful soul, a peaceful young man, not a threat to anyone. Are you fucking kidding me? If that's the case, then my name is Barry Soetero.

Emschar6554
Emschar6554

What is wrong with people.. ..peaceful young man, gentle soul. I would have shot him too. These people are out of control and a useless drain on society. There is no respect and violence everywhere you look. I bet he was on social services and we were supporting his drunk ass as well. I feel for our officers having to deal with this unnecessary bullshit day in and day out. You wonder why some have an attitude.... how much crap can they take? I am sure not one officer is happy to shoot someone... they have to live with that the rest of their life. They probably relive it in their minds over and over and I am confident that many end up with PTSD. Guarenteed anyone in the position of the officer would have done the same thing. I don't care if he is mentally ill.
If someone is capable of that type of violence they should be put away end of story. This was the second time he attacked an officer. Who ever said maybe there should be a colored bracelet on people with mental illness so the police would think before using deadly force is in a fantasy world. They used a stun gun with no results so they did try. You act like an animal you get treated as such. God bless and keep our officers safe. Thank you for all you do.

TXMaverick59
TXMaverick59

As a citizen...hahaha...in a REAL state, not POS NY...if that SOB had been attacking me, I would have every right under the law to kill him dead. Law enforcement officers should have the same rights to do so.

This guy, if he had not been shot, would have quite probably killed this officer. Any asshat who thinks that another approach to fending off this attacker would have been a better way to stop him...well, you're not only an asshat, you're a moron.

State Assemblywoman Latrice Walker...I'm pointing that comment right at you, Ms. Asshat!

We all matter
We all matter

The police have every right to protect themselves: whether the perpetrator has a mental problem or not. If they are attaching the officer and get shot then he deserves what he gets.

Frankie d
Frankie d

I am so sick and tired of libtards demanding public safety after stripping police of all the tools to do so. These chicken sht bastards don’t give a sht about law enforcement. Police are only the excuse they use for their societal failures. The libtards want to give away public’s safety to justify their Liberal attitudes and want people to believe that they are not racist. Just once I would like a libtard to provide a plan on how to provide public safety today. Give us a plan! Libtards like our governor
Who’s father was a sht governor and mayor Dibozo want to set them all free give them vouchers, subway cards ect, at taxpayer expense. I wish someone would take a metal chair to the side of their heads. It’s pretty easy to risk your safety, when they have around the clock armed law enforcement officers assigned. They are Hippocrates and I would like to see these libtards without security, maybe justice would be served by one of these lawbreaking pieces of sht. Let’s be clear they don’t give a sh*t about you. They sold you out for votes. I do not respect politicians anymore. I put them at the bottom of the ladder of respect. Just below pediphiles.

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

Latrice Walker needs to be EXECUTED.

Brasov04cluj
Brasov04cluj

I would not last 1/2 day as a Cop. I would run out of ammo on an escaped baboon.

MSK
MSK

This peaceful man should have beat you in the face with the chair Latrice! You liberal, cop hating POS!

javaguy
javaguy

Yes to a 30 day ride along BUT with a twist. They have to show the officer how to diffuse every situation without any help from the officer what so ever. If they have one f-up the 30 days start over.

investigator
investigator

REMEMBER........This is BLOOMBERGS territory....

ShadowGryphon
ShadowGryphon

It's rather difficult to argue against the use of lethal force when someone is forcibly high fiving your face with a metal chair.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Totally justified shooting.

fatdaddy50
fatdaddy50

Unfortunately some,people don't realize deadly force can be used PREVENT serious injury to another or self. Totally JUSTIFIED USE OF FORCE.

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as you raise a weapon to use against an officer, he is justified to shoot you if necessary. And I mean any weapon … knife, gun, bat, chair, etc. I say "if necessary" because if he can avoid shooting your stupid ass, fine. I know there are many factors to consider ... but he should not have to put himself at risk by NOT SHOOTING an attacker.

Janken
Janken

Isnt that something to stick up for deranged idiot who could have killed the officer. Doesnt make sense.

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

I don't care if you have a rainbow of colored bands on you for various victimhood statuses, if you're thrashing me with a metal chair and my newbie didn't get a good taze on your, I'm going to shoot your ass before you kill me.

Smilingsweetly777
Smilingsweetly777

Mental illness is a thing right out of hell. One person commented that mentally ill persons should have a visible sign of some sort indicating the person is mentally ill. In pre world war 2, they passed laws making people wear labels on their clothing indicating different things, such as being Jewish, being gay, etc. Some of the people killed in death camps were the handicapped, physically & mentally handicapped. It looks like our country is working towards becoming another Nazi Germany.

61mouse
61mouse

Every politician in New York has a mental health problem

RunCop
RunCop

Just a nice young scumbag....rot mother fucker and your supporters

Terminaters168
Terminaters168

What no LCD comment

Ghost_00000001
Ghost_00000001

Oh yeah sure, a peaceful young man bent on beating and killing cops. Thats SO peaceful. Glad the officer defended his life against this idiot. If the programs designed to help those with mental problems aren’t working...institutionalize them to take the threat off the streets and if needed, leave them there. That’s the least they could do. Tax money? The politicians aren’t using it wisely anyways.

Realitybites0088
Realitybites0088

Another good kill in the cesspool. Could have shot earlier, and a stray round for state assembly bitch couldn't have hurt.

jbrett
jbrett

anyone that attacks cops should be shot, end of story. Street thugs cannot rule us...

Bwheat
Bwheat

You gotta be kidding me with Latrice Walker's senseless declaration that deadly force was unnecessary. Let's see her endure a facial beating with a metal chair and try to reason with her vicious assailant and friend. The attacker clearly hates cops, which has nothing to do with mental illness. Officer Lafontant did exactly the right thing by saving his life and shooting his attacker. And I hope he recovers well.

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

Peaceful huh? From his past encounters with officers this man was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. The outcome had already been predetermined by Ashun himself when HE initiated a deadly attack against an officer leaving him no choice. Good call officer, glad you’re alive, sorry you had to take a life. Never easy.


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