Eric Linsker, a 29-year-old English professor at Baruch College, has been charged in connection with the assault of two police officers during a protest Saturday night on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Mr. Linsker is accused of inciting a riot leading to protesters beating up two police lieutenants. He is charged with assault in the second degree, rioting in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of marijuana, a local CBS affiliate reported.
Police say Mr. Linsker tried to throw a metal garbage can at police officers during protesting Saturday. Upon his arrest, other protesters allegedly jumped in and began attacking the police officers.
“They were knocked to the ground. They were punched by numerous people and kicked in the face and the head, while the group attempted to steal their portable radios and tear away their police identification jackets,” said the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counter-terrorism John Miller, the CBS affiliate reported.
Police recovered a backpack full of hammers they claim belonged to Mr. Linsker.
The suspect’s attorney said there’s no way for prosecutors to prove his client provoked the violence, nor that the bag was his.
“This young man did nothing but protest. He did absolutely nothing. He did not do the assault that it is claimed that he did,” attorney Martin Stolar said, the CBS affiliate reported.
In a statement, Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein said, “We have confirmed that Mr. Linsker is currently teaching one composition course at Baruch.
“Working with The City University of New York, Baruch will cooperate fully, as called upon, in any criminal investigation. While we believe firmly in the exercise of free speech, we deplore violence of any kind and will support the official investigation of this matter,” the statement said.
Mr. Linsker is due back in court on March 23, the station reported.