NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police late Thursday arrested a suspect who they say attacked an on-duty NYPD traffic agent on Staten Island.
Divon Cochrane, 27, of Staten Island, was charged with two counts of assault and one of harassment, police said.
The suspect had been caught on surveillance video Wednesday in Port Richmond.
Police said the man approached the agent from behind near the corner of Heberton Street and Post Avenue and punched him in the throat.
The 50-year-old agent fell to the pavement, unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital and treated for head and neck injuries.
People living and working near the intersection were upset while wondering if the attack was over a previous parking ticket given to the man or someone he knows.
“I’ve never seen something like this in my life,” Kevin Razzoli told CBS2’s Erin Logan.
“It just seems like he was on the phone and just did it out of malice,” Andrea Diaz added.
Police sources told CBS2 they believe the man was issued a summons earlier in the day, but it’s unclear if there was a prior confrontation.
Still, neighbors say this is not typical in the area.
“Why hurt somebody who’s trying to enforce the law?” Razzoli said.
“We were all in shock,” Diaz said. “We haven’t seen either of them around here.”
Omar Sanchez said he hopes the images his employer gave to police will make their job easier.
“Whenever they need it, we have the video,” he said. “There’s a 24-hour recording.”
The NYPD says the traffic agent was home recovering from head and neck injuries late Thursday.