PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The widow of a West Greenwich craftsman who was savagely beaten to death by a University of Rhode Island employee has sued URI, alleging negligence in failing to alert police to the man's erratic and dangerous behavior in the hours leading up to the attack.

Alyson McCann, of West Greenwich, has sued URI, the Council for Postsecondary Education, the state Board of Education and two employees at the university's W. Alton Jones Campus, accusing them of negligence in the wrongful death of her husband, John "Jake" O'Neil, at the hands of Christian Lepore. McCann works as URI’s Cooperative Extension water quality coordinator.

Superior Court Judge Brian P. Stern in August found Lepore, 36, of Richmond, not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder of 62-year-old O'Neil outside O'Neil's carpentry shed at 283 John Potter Rd.

Stern ruled that Lepore was in the grip of a psychotic break and unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions when he beat O’Neil to death, and assaulted four police officers and a police dog. Lepore is now in the custody of the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.

The university and the other defendants deny negligence in documents filed in state Superior Court and argue that any injuries the couple suffered are not attributable to them. A spokesman for URI did not immediately return an email seeking comment Wednesday.

According to the lawsuit, Lepore, a cook's helper in the kitchen at the Whispering Pines Conference Center at Alton Jones, reported for work at noon May 28, 2016. Lepore babbled incoherently, acted irrationally and made inappropriate comments as he jumped from one subject to another. "They are here and the government knows about it," Lepore said at one point, speaking of extraterrestrials.

Standing six feet tall and weighing more than 325 pounds, Lepore paced and made movements such as pulling his shirt up to expose his chest and stomach, the suit says.

Senior cook Stephen Lane and William Murphy, the weekend manager, thought Lepore was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, McCann alleges on behalf of O'Neil's estate. Lane, who picked up shears in self-defense, instructed Lepore three times to leave the premises; Murphy instructed him to leave twice, knowing that Lepore had driven to the campus, the suit says.

Murphy threatened to call the police if Lepore did not leave, McCann alleges. "Despite knowing that he should call the police, Murphy did not timely contact the police," lawyer Mark Mandell wrote.

Lepore encountered two coworkers in the parking lot a half-hour later, at about 3:45 p.m., assaulting one until the other convinced him to back off. Lepore then got into his car and drove off. It's then that Murphy contacted URI police, the suit says.

Lepore abandoned his car in a nearby intersection and walked into the woods, stripped his clothes off and headed toward the McCann-O'Neil property, the suit says.

At 4:12 p.m. O'Neil called 911 to report a large, naked stranger on his property who was threatening him and "behaving very strangely," McCann said. A recording of the same call captured the stranger, later determined to be Lepore, grunting as he beat O'Neil to death.

Lepore proceeded to battle police officers who arrived at the scene and were unable to subdue him despite repeated Taser jolts, cans of pepper spray directed at his face, bites from a state police dog and strikes by the officers.

McCann seeks unspecified damages for the loss of her spouse as well as for the severe injuries, suffering and ultimate death that O'Neil sustained.