Tennessee charges dropped against New York fugitive - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee charges dropped against New York fugitive

For the better part of Monday afternoon, Memphis International Airport was crawling with national media. It became clear that New York Police detectives planned to fly Peter Braunstein out of Memphis on a commercial airline after local prosecutors agreed to drop Tennessee charges.

Outside General Sessions Court, Shelby County Prosecutor Tom Henderson explained.

"After talking to the New York detectives and reading the affidavit of complaint about the charges up there... They're much more serious charges involving injury to victims. The victim's concerns up there probably should take precedence," he said.

The search for Braunstein started on Halloween when police say he broke into a New York woman's apartment, dressed as a city firefighter. Investigators say the woman was overpowered, tied up and sexually assaulted.

On Friday, Braunstein was spotted on the University of Memphis campus by a University office worker.

"It was the scariest moment of my life." Annette Brown says she pretended to be on the phone with her sister when Braunstein walked close to her. "I was just trying to keep up the illusion that I was talking to the phone just so he could continue walking and not realize that he'd just been identified," she said.

It was Brown who called for help and a University police officer who ultimately cornered Braunstein. Braunstein drew a knife and - says officer Jay Johnson - began to stab himself repeatedly.

"He then turned after stabbing himself in the neck several times, turned and continued to walk away from me. I followed him. He went about fifty feet, he just stopped, dropped the knife, turned around and said, 'ok, I give up,'" says Johnson.

In Memphis, Braunstein faced charges of aggravated assault of the U of M officer and possession of a deadly weapon on campus. Again, both were dropped.

New York police say they expect him back in the city this evening.

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