Election protester who reportedly tried to strangle police officer with chain is resident of psychiatric facility

Election protester who reportedly tried to strangle police officer with chain is resident of psychiatric facility


A handout from the New York Police Department showing the chain Levon Wheeler allegedly used in an attempt to strangle an officer ((New York Police Department))

A man who reportedly attempted to strangle a police officer with a chain during a post-election protest is the resident of a psychiatric facility.

On Thursday, Levon Wheeler, 30, allegedly pushed a police officer to the ground and pressed a chain on their neck, while at a post-election protest on Bond Street and Broadway in New York City, according to the New York Post.

“Levon Wheeler was engaged with officers and in the course of arrest being made, he pushed a large heavy (bike) chain to the arresting officer’s neck,” The New York Police Department (NYPD) said in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Wheeler was arrested at the protest on Thursday evening, alongside 17 others, during the second day of demonstrations in Manhattan.

The protests have taken place every night over the last two days following the US election, with both supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump taking to the streets across the country.

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After Mr Trump baselessly cast doubt on the legitimacy of mail-in-ballots still being counted in several swing states, supporters of his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, marched in New York, calling for all votes to be counted in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Supporters of Mr Trump formed counter protests in the city and clashed with the protesters and police, as tensions rose in states across the US.

Mr Wheeler was charged with second-degree assault, criminal obstruction of breathing, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

The NYPD tweeted a photo of the chain he reportedly used on the officer, and added: “Violence – in any form – is unacceptable. We will be reviewing this incident, and bring any additional perpetrators to justice.”

The authorities revealed that Mr Wheeler currently lives at the Manhattan Psychiatric Centre, which is a state-run facility on Wards Island.

Mr Wheeler was released from a New York prison about a year ago, where he was held on a charge of second-degree attempted robbery.

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