Man accused of hitting jogger with large tree branch over 20 times appears in court

Regional News

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A 19-year-old man was arrested Saturday after allegedly chasing and hitting a woman out for a jog over 20 times with a large tree branch in West Seneca.

West Seneca Police say a woman was jogging on the campus of a New York State Developmental Disabilities Services Office at 1010 East & West Road when 19-year-old Ryan Strunk went after the jogger. The woman told police that Strunk randomly started yelling derogatory comments at her and followed her, eventually grabbing a large tree branch.

The 19-year-old, who has no permanent address, caught up with the jogger and hit her with the branch over 20 times, according to West Seneca Police. The woman was able to get away from the man and lock herself inside a DDSO campus safety vehicle with an employee already inside who called 911.

Strunk jumped on the hood of the vehicle and banged on the windshield, reportedly screaming threats. He refused to get off the hood when a patrol officer approached the man. The 19-year-old eventually got down from the vehicle when the officer pulled out his taser.

Authorities say as Strunk was being cuffed, he began kicking, biting and trying to grab the officer’s duty gun. Another officer passing by stopped to help successfully detain the man.

Ryan Strunk has been charged with second-degree assault with intent to cause physical harm, second-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury to a police officer, fourth-degree criminal mischief for damage caused to a state vehicle and third-degree resisting arrest and menacing.

Strunk was arraigned in West Seneca Court and has been remanded to the Erie County Holding Center on $25,000 cash bail or bond. He’s also being held so a forensic mental health evaluation can be completed.

Police say the woman was in pain and bruised, but refused medical treatment. The officer whose finger was bit was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

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