NY officials looking for 2 more men suspected in Times Square attack on NYPD officers – NBC New York

What to Know

  • A group of people, migrants among them, were caught on video attacking two NYPD officers in Times Square last month
  • At least a half-dozen people have been arrested so far; most were released on bail, sparking outrage among police brass and the governor’s office. Police are now looking for two additional, unidentified suspects
  • Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has defended his decision to not request bail for several suspects, saying he was proceeding cautiously to ensure the proper suspects are identified

Manhattan prosecutors are asking the public for help finding two additional suspects wanted in connection with an assault on police officers in Times Square last month.

The two men, who are still unidentified, are visible on video attacking the officers, officials said. One man is seen kicking an officer multiple times, while the other is seen kicking an officer then falling down, according to officials.

Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

So far, six suspects have been charged with assault from the January attack but only one of of the six was held on bail.

“When you attack our police officers, you should be on Rikers,” NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said.

Critics are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to remove Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg from office for releasing the other five defendants.

“Anyone who thinks they should have been let loose, I have a big disagreement with,” Hochul told reporters.

Bragg said he did not want to keep people in jail until he knew who played what role in the assault.

“So we put the right people in jail,” Bragg said.

The Manhattan DA held a news conference to make it clear attacks on police officers will not be tolerated, after dodging reporter questions earlier in the day. News 4’s Melissa Russo reports. 

After 10 days scrutinizing the videos made public after the assault, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said in the case of two of the defendants charged and released, the video does not show them making any contact with officers.

One defendant, Kelvin Arocha, who is wearing camouflage in the video, is only seen kicking a police radio, but not a police office, according to the law enforcement source. Another defendant, Wilson Juarez, was charged with assault, but a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said Juarez is not even visible on the videos at all.

“They wanted to make sure they had the right person, but you can hold these people while you’re still investigating,” Hochul said. “You don’t let them out.”

Amid the criticism of Bragg for not seeking bail for the defendants, reports developed that several of the accused migrants boarded buses to California after their release and were headed towards the California-Mexico border. It remains unclear if that definitively happened.

In a statement Tuesday night, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying it picked up four suspects Monday in Phoenix who were “…believed to be fleeing the state of New York from their suspected involvement in a coordinated assault on multiple New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officers.”

On Wednesday, New York law enforcement officials said the four men in ICE custody in Arizona are not the same four men believed to be involved in last month’s attack on NYPD officers in Times Square, despite the federal agency’s claim.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office put out a statement Wednesday stating the detainees were not connected.

“The Manhattan D.A.’s Office was informed yesterday by HSI that the four individuals they took into custody were not affiliated with the New York City investigation,” the statement said. “To date, we have not received any indication from federal authorities that they have detained anyone related to our case.”

One other suspect is being held at Rikers. Police think a total of at least 13 people were involved. Several of the suspects are migrants, Chell said, while police were familiar with some from past incidents.

“Some of them live in the migrant shelter, they appear to be migrants, obviously. I don’t know when they got here. Some of them already have lengthy police records,” said Chell. “These individuals who were arrested [or] will be arrested should be indicted, they should be sitting in Rikers awaiting their day in front of the judge. Plain and simple.”

On Feb. 2, Bragg dodged reporter questions before ultimately holding a press conference hours later. In that briefing, he defended his decision to not request bail for several suspects, saying he’s proceeding cautiously to ensure the proper suspects are identified.

Bragg’s office was expected to present the case to a grand jury on Tuesday.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button