ELMHURST — A resident of the homeless shelter at the former Pan Am hotel was arrested Wednesday for assault after pushing a man outside a school in October, telling police he was trying to protect his family.
David McLean, 39, allegedly pushed the 69-year-old victim on the corner of 52nd and Van Horn streets, near P.S. 102, at 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 28, according to police.
McLean filed a report the next day at the 110th Precinct, saying the victim "would not stop staring at me and my family," according to the complaint.
He told officers the victim said something to him and then approached his family, so he pushed him away.
"I pushed him to protect my kids. I didn't push him that hard," he told police, according to the criminal complaint.
The victim was taken to the hospital for spine fractures and a compression to the spine, according to the criminal complaint.
McLean was arrested and arraigned Nov. 18, and charged with a third-degree felony. A temporary order of protection was issued, and he was released.
He's due back in court Jan. 21.
It's not clear how long he's lived at the Boulevard Family Shelter, inside the former Pan Am Hotel.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeless Services said the agency "will assist the NYPD during the investigation.”
An official said that when there are arrests of shelter residents, those involved are transferred on a case-by-case basis. It's not clear if McLean still lives at the shelter.