Victim Suffered Spinal Fracture In July 2012 Incident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Canadian drifter who slammed a claw hammer into a stranger’s head in New York City has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Douglas Epp made a rambling statement at his sentencing Tuesday. He said the attack was part of what he called a “suicide bid,” and he mentioned a woman he called his best friend.

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The Manhattan district attorney’s office said Epp abruptly attacked a Spanish tourist sitting near him on bench at City Hall Park in July 2012.

Victim Hugo Alejandre was treated for a spinal fracture and deep lacerations. He was visiting from Barcelona.

Epp told investigators he believed Alejandre had made insulting remarks about him.

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Epp pleaded guilty Oct. 8 to attempted murder and identity theft. Epp initially gave authorities an alias of John Yoos.

The real John Yoos, a Canadian chess champion, told prosecutors he was alarmed Epp was using his identity. The two are former acquaintances.

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