A man arrested in connection with a brutal daytime attack of a 12-year-old Asian boy in Brooklyn earlier this month has been arrested nearly two dozen times in the past, according to reports.
Police said Jamal McIlwain, 28, assaulted the victim with a crutch at the intersection of St. Paul’s Court and St. Paul’s Place at around 7:40 a.m. on Nov. 17. He was arrested on Wednesday after someone reported seeing him acting suspiciously outside an unidentified high school.
Surveillance footage of the attack shows a man in dark clothes running toward the boy and striking him twice with a single crutch. After failing to strike a third time, he “calmly” walks away, leaves the crutch on the sidewalk and heads north on St. Paul’s Place, as per the New York Post.
The young victim, who suffered minor head injuries, was reportedly on his way to school before he was attacked.
“It’s weird how he ran across the street just to hit me,” the boy told PIX 11. “When he hit me, it took me a few seconds to process what was going on. I tried to block it with this arm and ran.”
McIlwain allegedly spat on a police officer while being arrested last week. He has since been charged with assault and menacing, as well as acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17.
Sources say McIlwain has 23 prior arrests, according to the New York Daily News. Among them was an attempted murder case in which he allegedly opened fire at someone.
At his arraignment on Friday, McIlwain reportedly claimed that he worked for “NCIS,” which is understood as the crime drama that has aired on CBS since 2003. Given this, defense lawyer Jonathan Fink said it’s “pretty clear” his client “does have mental health issues” and asked for psychiatric evaluation.
Prosecutors asked for bail to be set at $75,000. In the end, Judge Simiyon Haniff ordered that McIlwain be held without bail and requested for psychiatric evaluation, the New York Daily News reported.
The attack, which happened near a church, has left residents terrified.
“It’s kind of sad something like that could happen and we don’t know about it, because a lot of kids live over here. So hopefully he does get caught, because that’s not something you should do,” a resident told CBS New York.
Featured Image via New York Police Department