The Taser- and knife-wielding madman who triggered a stampede in Washington Square Park over the weekend was cut loose without bail on Sunday — as his lawyer claimed he acted in self-defense.
Jason McDermott, 42, was hauled before a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court on menacing, reckless endangerment and weapons charges following the mob scene at the Greenwich Village greenspace early Saturday morning that left a 43-year-old woman with injuries.
Prosecutor Taylor Brisco told Judge Abraham Clott that McDermott claimed to police, “It was self-defense. They were running at me. I have a knife on me for self-defense.”
McDermott allegedly brandished a Taser and knife during a squabble inside the park around 12:40 a.m. Saturday, sending the throng of revelers fleeing for safety and crushing one parkgoer in the process.
But McDermott’s lawyer claimed he was the one who was being victimized.
“He was the subject of an attack,” his lawyer, Damjan Panovski, reiterated in court. “He has no criminal record whatsoever, no contact with the criminal justice system.”
He called the incident “purely self-defense.”
Prosecutors did not ask for bail in McDermott’s case — but requested supvervised release, which the judge granted.
Clott also said the case suggests McDermott “has trouble working with the ordinary standards of legal behavior.”
A surly McDermott refused to comment as he left court.
The woman who was hurt was taken to Bellevue Hospital with cuts, scrapes and bruises. She was treated and later released.
The chaotic scene came amid yet another night of alcohol- and drug-fueled partying at the historic park — despite continuous complaints from locals and merchants in the area and a rarely enforced midnight curfew.