HAMILTON HEIGHTS — An emotionally disturbed man attacked his grandmother and sister with a pipe before turning the weapon on six responding police officers, cops and relatives said.
The 27-year-old man, who relatives said had psychiatric problems and had recently stopped taking his medication, was bludgeoning his grandmother in a sixth-floor apartment at 680 St. Nicholas Ave., near West 145th Street, when the police officers responded just after 8 a.m., according to the NYPD.
One officer suffered a serious head injury, while the others had scrapes and bruises, the NYPD said.
"My son's got psychiatric problems," said Mary Anderson, a woman who identified herself as the man's mother.
Anderson said that in the attack against his 62-year-old grandmother, her son used an elephant trunk statue, but cops could not immediately confirm that account.
The assault on the grandmother was preceded by a dispute between the attacker and his sister over why the sister wasn't in school, which quickly turned violent, Anderson said.
"Blood was dripping down her face," Anderson said of her daughter.
When the responding officers tried to break up the assault, the grandson turned his weapon on them, police said.
The suspect, who has not been identified, hit one of the officers in the head with the pipe, police said.
He was eventually taken into custody, cops said.
"It's just a family tragedy," Anderson said.
The cop with the head injury was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center with serious injuries, but they don't appear to be life threatening, police said. The other cops suffered minor injuries in the brawl and were taken to area hospitals.
The grandmother, who was not identified, was taken to Harlem Hospital Center in critical condition, police and fire officials said.
The sister was taken to Harlem Hospital in stable condition, police said.
The suspect suffered serious injuries and was taken to Harlem Hospital as well. He was in stable condition and was not immediately arrested, the NYPD said.
Anderson said her son had been receiving psychiatric treatment and she believed he was bipolar, but he recently stopped taking his medication because he felt it interfered with his ability to care for his 5-year-old daughter.
"He said it was slowing him up," Anderson said.
One possible reason for the suspect's violent explosion on Wednesday was that he had caught his grandmother praying for him in a closet on Monday with a photo of him and a doll, in what he believed was a form of voodoo, Anderson said.
Anderson said her mother had been praying to heal her son, not harm him.
She added that her son had been in an unusual mood on Tuesday evening.
"He was just not his normal self," she said.
Neighbors said the suspect was sometimes friendly but other times appeared threatening.
"He's trying to intimidate people with his look. It's his thing," said a 20-year-old man who lives in the building. "He'll stare you down like he's about to do something to you."