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Protester Charged With Brooklyn Bridge Police Assault, NYPD Says

By  Rachel Holliday Smith Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner | December 18, 2014 11:17am | Updated on December 19, 2014 11:22am

 Robert Murray surrendered to police after an attack on two lieutenants on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Robert Murray surrendered to police after an attack on two lieutenants on the Brooklyn Bridge.
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DNAinfo/Ellen Moynihan

MANHATTAN — A protester who attacked two NYPD lieutenants during a march across the Brooklyn Bridge, breaking one lieutenant's nose, surrendered to police Thursday morning, authorities said.

Robert Murray, a 43-year-old Crown Heights man, turned himself in to the NYPD's 5th Precinct stationhouse, at 19 Elizabeth St., about 8 a.m., sources said, as police continued to search for six more suspects in the melee.

Prosecutors said Murray tackled one of the lieutenants and dragged the other to the ground to stop them from arresting another protester during the Saturday evening march. He broke one lieutenant's nose later in the brawl, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's criminal complaint.

Murray was arraigned Thursday night on charges of assault, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, prosecutors said.

He was held on $50,000 bond and is due back in court on Dec. 23.

Murray lives with his girlfriend on Rogers Avenue and was politically active, according to his landlord, who identified himself only as Charles.

"He's pretty mild mannered, but politically, it doesn't surprise me. I know he's politically active. He's just a liberal guy with his politics," Charles said.

Thousands of people gathered Saturday afternoon to protest police brutality and a grand jury's decision not to indict an NYPD officer for the death of Eric Garner.

Later that day, a group of protesters was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge when two lieutenants saw Eric Linsker, a CUNY professor, on an elevated walkway lift a trash can and try to throw it onto the road below, police said.

When they moved to arrest him, a group of other protesters came to his aid, punching and kicking the two lieutenants, police said.

Murray grabbed one of the police around the waist and threw him to the ground, also toppling Linsker and the other lieutenant, Philip Chan, prosecutors said.

Murray walked away and returned to the fracas twice, the second time to make "a sudden rapid downward movement toward [Chan]," breaking his nose, prosecutors said.

The other lieutenant caught in the brawl suffered scrapes and bruises, police said.

The NYPD has aggressively sought information about the attack, widely distributing video and photos in an effort to identify those who were involved.

Thursday's arrest is the second connected to the incident after investigators tracked down Linsker and arrested him on assault charges.

Linsker was released after his arraignment and is due back in court on March 23.

The reward for information leading to the arrest of six other people involved in the attack has been raised to $25,000.