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Police: Brooklyn Man Attacks Spanish Tourist With Hammer In City Hall Park

Hugo Alejandre Of Barcelona Struck At Least 10 Times With Claw End Of Tool
2008 Hawaii mugshot of Douglas Epp, who initially identified himself as John Yoos following City Hall Park hammer attack in July 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

2008 Hawaii mugshot of Douglas Epp, who initially identified himself as John Yoos following City Hall Park hammer attack in July 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Spanish tourist is recovering after allegedly being attacked with a hammer by a well-dressed Brooklyn man on Monday afternoon.

Hugo Alejandre, 31, of Barcelona, was sitting on a bench with his girlfriend at Manhattan’s City Hall Park when he was attacked without warning at around 3 p.m., police said.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

John Yoos, 43, of Crown Heights, was dressed in a suit and tie when he walked up to Alejandre and his girlfriend and started screaming at them, police said. He then struck the tourist in the head at least 10 times with the claw of a hammer, fracturing his skull, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.

Witnesses held Yoos until police arrived. He was arraigned Tuesday on attempted murder charges.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s a tragedy, but it happens,” witness Mick MacKenzie told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello. “A couple of guys grabbed the guy and they got him, so that’s the good point about it, and of course the NYPD was right on it.”

Prosecutor Alison Altmann demanded Yoos be held without bond, calling the attack “a completely random act of brutal violence on a total stranger.”

Yoos’ motive remains unclear. One man told CBS 2’s Aiello he lives near the suspect in Crown Heights. He said Yoos dressed in a suit every day, but sometimes at night he heard strange things coming from Apartment 4.

“Oh, he was breaking stuff up in his apartment, but I don’t know what’s going on in there because I’m in my apartment,” the man said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there was no exchange between the couple and Yoos before the alleged attack.

Alejandre has been released from the hospital. His girlfriend also had marks on her arms trying to fend off the suspect.

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