Man Arrested for Shooting BB Pellets At de Blasio’s Guard

NEW YORK (AP/Hamodia) -

A man was arrested Monday on assault and other charges for using a pellet gun to shoot an officer assigned to guard the mayor.

Michael Verbitsky, 19, on Sunday night was shooting outside Gracie Mansion, where the mayor and his family live. An officer was struck in the back with a pellet and had minor injuries. Mayor Bill de Blasio wasn’t home at the time.

Police say Verbitsky has previous arrests for robbery and graffiti. Investigators believe he also used the pellet gun to break windows in the same neighborhood earlier this summer.

De Blasio said Monday that he spoke to the officer, who is “in fine shape.” He added that he had faith in the New York Police Department’s ability to protect him.

“We all understand what we signed up for. And, obviously, my family is the center of my life,” he said. “But we have absolute faith in the NYPD. They’re the security experts and we know they’ll take care of the situation.”