Unarmed black man fatally shot by NYPD had long rap sheet, once arrested without pants and eating rocks: report


A man shot and killed by an NYPD officer Wednesday evening reportedly had a long rap sheet, including one incident in 2008 where officers found him on the street without pants, eating rocks.

Saheed Vassell, a 34-year-old whose family describes him as having bipolar disorder, was killed in a Crown Heights neighborhood after police responded to multiple 911 calls about a black male walking around the area and pointing an object at people.

Vassell had reportedly been arrested 28 times since 1999, including one bizarre incident in 2008 when officers found him on the street, sans pants, the New York Post reported. A source told the New York Post that Vassell was running on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn in boxer shorts before he laid down in the street, “banging his head on the pavement and eating rocks.”

Vassell was taken in for psychiatric treatment following the incident. The source also said Vassell was hospitalized in 2011 when his mother alerted police after her son refused to take his medication, adding he was acting erratically. She called police again in 2014 to inform them her son wouldn’t take his medication. It was not immediately clear if he was taken to a psychiatric facility following the call.

The 34-year-old’s rap sheet includes a first-degree gang assault charge, possession of a firearm and a few assault charges. He was also arrested for armed robbery, grand larceny, criminal mischief, driving without a license and disorderly conduct. The last time he was arrested was in 2013 for assault. – READ MORE

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