The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Accused Hammer Attacker Granted a Psychiatric Evaluation

 David Baril in a Facebook photo from March 2011.
David Baril in a Facebook photo from March 2011.
View Full Caption

MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — The mentally ill man who was shot by police last week after being wanted for a string of unprovoked hammer attacks in Manhattan will have to complete a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he's fit for trial. 

David Baril, 30, was arraigned on Wednesday through a live video feed from Bellevue Hospital, where he's been kept in stable condition since he was shot in the arm and torso by police after attacking an NYPD officer with the claw side of his hammer last week.

In the grainy video, shown in a small courtroom in Manhattan Criminal Court, Baril was lying on a gurney while the camera appeared to be positioned in the corridor of the hospital. 

Baril's voice sounded strong and clear as he lay in hospital robes on the gurney, and told the judge that he understood the charges that were read against him. His lawyer, who was with him in the hospital, asked for the psychiatric evaluation, known as a 730 exam, which the judge granted.

He's charged with felony assault and weapons possession for striking three people with the claw side of his hammer on May 11, bashing them on their heads in a series of random attacks in Manhattan. None of the victims had life-threatening injuries, officials said.

He received additional assault and weapon possession charges for his attack on NYPD Officer Lauren O'Rourke, who Baril tried to attack with a hammer on May 13. The officer suffered cuts and bruises on her arms, body and back.

During that incident, which led to his arrest, Baril "charged" at the officer and "swung the hammer repeatedly in the direction of her head" with the claw side of a white carpenter hammer, officials said.

Just before the attack, O'Rourke and her partner officer Geraldo Casaigne, 36, had identified Baril as a suspect and followed him on the street near Eighth Avenue and West 37th Street, officials said.

Baril, a homeless man who has been arrested eight times, was previously diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, officials have said. This past January, he voluntarily checked himself out of a mental health facility on the Upper West Side.

Prosectors said Baril has been indicted, though the exact charges were not immediately clear. 

Baril's attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.

He's due back in court on June 25 to review the psychiatric evaluation. Baril, who remains in the hospital under police guard, was remanded — meaning no bail was set for his release.

Baril, who is also wanted by police for an unrelated incident in The Bronx, will appear in court for that matter later in August, the judge said.