Man Accused of Shooting Member of de Blasio's Police Detail With Pellet Gun - NBC 7 San Diego
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Man Accused of Shooting Member of de Blasio's Police Detail With Pellet Gun

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    Man Charged in Pellet Gun Attack on Mayor's Security Cop

    A 19-year-old man is facing felony charges after police allege he shot a member of Mayor de Blasio's police detail with a pellet or BB gun Sunday night outside Gracie Mansion. Ray Villeda reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 24, 2015)

    A 19-year-old man is facing felony charges after police allege he shot a member of Mayor de Blasio's police detail with a pellet or BB gun Sunday night outside Gracie Mansion.

    Michael Verbitsky was charged with assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment, possession of a forged instrument, criminal mischief and weapons crimes in the shooting outside de Blasio's Yorkville home. 

    Prosecutors say Verbitsky fired the pellet or BB gun from the 10th floor of a nearby building, hitting the female NYPD officer, then tried to escape police by going through a service elevator and then running away on the street.

    The mayor was in Brooklyn at the time.

    The security guard felt pain in her back and was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital with minor injuries, authorities said. She has since been released.

    A woman, also 19, was also detained following the shooting, but she is not expected to be charged with any crimes. She was released Monday. 

    At a court appearance Monday evening, Verbitsky's lawyer said the college student accidentally discharged the gun. Neither Verbitsky nor his parents, who posted Verbitsky's $10,000 bail, said anything to reporters as they left court.   

    There have been two previous reports of pellet guns causing damage to windows in the area, police said.

    Barb Hennessy, who lives near Gracie Mansion, told NBC 4 New York her own minivan windows were shot out by pellets or BBs last week as she and her family were driving near East End and 87th Street. She provided photos showing the shattered rear passenger windows. 

    When she learned of the pellet shooting that hurt the NYPD officer, "automatically I put both things together, two random acts opposite Gracie Mansion. It's a little ironic in such a short span of time." 

    "The scary thing about the whole thing is, that's Croswell Park, that is a playground there, that is a lot of children who use that park everyday," she said. 

    Police say they're looking into reports of other pellet gun shootings in the area. 

    De Blasio said Monday, "I have tremendous faith in the NYPD and I think my security and my family's security is being handled very well. I obviously was very concerned for the officer. I spoke to her and she's in fine shape so I guarantee the NYPD is going to take care of that situation." 

    Verbitsky is next appeared to schedule in court Friday.