Man arrested for attacking police officer during New York library’s drag story time

Chase Catapano, 28, has suffered from bipolar disorder since he was a child, according to his father

Maroosha Muzaffar
Monday 12 December 2022 12:17 GMT
Man arrested for attacking police officer during library’s drag story time

A man at a Manhattan library was arrested after being filmed confronting a group of anti-Drag Story Hour protesters and then having a tussle with a man who was reportedly a police officer.

Chase Catapano, 28, allegedly got into a tussle with an officer monitoring the demonstration that was held on Saturday at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library and was arrested a day later by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

In a video of the incident, Mr Catapano was seen facing off against a group of about 20 protesters holding signs that read “Leave our kids alone!”, “Shut it down now!” and “Respect childhood!” at the Midtown branch of the New York Public Library.

“Get the f*** out of here!” Mr Catapano shouts at the group. “You’re a f***ing disgrace!”

A group called the Guardians of Divinity had reportedly organised the protest at the library that was hosting a Bilingual Drag Story Hour event.

NYPD said Mr Catapano was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, attempted assault and obstructing governmental administration, police said.

In the video, he can be seen snatching away one of the protester’s signs. But as soon as he starts to walk away, the protesters begin to follow him.

When Mr Catapano turns around, he is stopped by a member of the NYPD, the video shows.

The 28-year-old can be seen shoving the cop’s hand away from him and yelling “I don’t give a f*** who you are!”

“You better watch who you’re touching, he’s an officer,” another man can be heard shouting in the video.

Mr Catapano was later arrested by the police.

Police said Mr Catapano was visiting the library but was not there for the drag event when he abruptly got into the confrontation with the protesters.

He often uses the computers at the library and likely wouldn’t have responded well to any disruption because of his mental illness, his father, Ferdinand “Fred” Catapano, told the Daily News.

Mr Catapano has suffered from bipolar disorder since he was a child, according to his father.

“He seems to find trouble. He’s a good kid,” the father said. “When he was a kid in Forest Park, [a next-door neighbour] would make sure that Chase watched his little kids to make sure they wouldn’t get picked on. That’s what kind of kid he is.”

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