The New York City Police Department released video it says shows Saturday's attack.
Four migrant men charged with felonies in an attack on two New York City Police Department officers Saturday outside a migrant shelter are en route to a California town near Mexico after they were released from custody and given bus tickets by a faith-based charity, a senior law enforcement official said.
The four men were among at least seven people arrested in the incident. They were staying in a New York City shelter, used false names with the charity, the source told CNN. It was not immediately clear who the four are among the group arrested this week in connection with the weekend incident.
Investigators say even though the defendants allegedly used false names with the charity and could be going to Mexico by way of Calexico, California, “we have no legal authority to chase them or attempt to stop them” because the Manhattan district attorney did not request bail and the defendants were released on their own recognizance, the law enforcement source said.
“We have to assume they intend to return to court, which, given the circumstances around their departure, seems unlikely,” the source added.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement declinedto comment.
The case follows a surge in migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border and, as a knock-on effect, in far-off major US cities – where many have gone on their own or on buses hired by Texas. Some 67,000 migrants are under New York City’s care, among more than 173,900 who’ve arrived in the city since spring 2022, a City Hall spokesperson told CNN on Thursday.
“The overwhelming number of immigrants, migrants, asylum-seekers, they want to be here and do what’s right. Those violent ones, we need to immediately have them removed from our city,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams told La Mega 97.9 FM on Thursday.
The attack outside the shelter “was disgusting, and they should be held accountable,” the Democrat added, saying he thinks they should not have been released from custody while noting the city does not have the authority to deport people.
Authorities Saturday arrested Yorman Reveron, 24, Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19, Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel, 19, and Wilson Juarez, 21, each charged withsecond-degree assault and second-degree obstructing governmental administration, according to a criminal complaint. Jhoan Boada, 22, was arrested Monday and charged withthe same two counts, a complaint states.
Yohenry Brito, 24,was arrested Wednesday and arraigned Thursday on two counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree obstructing governmental administration, the Manhattan district attorney’s office told CNN. He also faces robbery and felony assault charges, the district attorney said. A 21-year-old arrested Wednesday on suspicion of robbery and felony assault was released and not charged, it said.
CNN has reached out to attorneys for all those named.
Brito is being held on bail, while the five otherswere releasedwithout bail, according to the district attorney,aspolice continue toinvestigate the attack. An assistant district attorney requested $15,000 bail or $50,000 bond for Brito, citing his alleged past interactions with law enforcement.
For those released without bail, the district attorney consented “to defendant release to allow us time to conduct a thorough analysis of the incident and defendant’s role in it,” according to a bail application for Boada that states the others were released without bail under similar requests.
A Manhattan Criminal Court judge ordered them to be “released on their own recognizance,” meaningthey were released from custody without paying bail and told to return to court while the case is pending.
“Violence against police officers is never acceptable,” a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told CNN. “Every defendant charged so far is facing felony charges that carry a penalty of up to seven years.”
Police, meanwhile, are trying to identify four more men who allegedly participated in the assault outside the migrant shelter, the law enforcement source said.
“Get them all and send them back,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said of that effort. “You don’t touch our police officers. You don’t touch anyone.”
Arrested, charged and released without bail
The case calls to mind the controversial 2020 state bail reform act that essentially barred judges from setting bail in a sweeping number of crimes– a change critics say puts communities in danger.
Bragg in 2022 went further, issuing guidance to his assistants to refrain from asking for bail even in some cases that were still “bail eligible.”
“There is a presumption of pre-trial non-incarceration for every case except those with charges of homicide or the death of a victim” or charges involving weapons and serious physical injury, Bragg wrote in a January 2022 memo.
The defendants in the weekend assault outside the migrant shelter were charged with felonies for which prosecutors could have asked for bail, in particular because they were living in temporary shelters for migrants and had no “ties to the community” to ensure their return to court.
Prosecutors, however, did not ask for bail.
On Friday, Bragg defended his office’s decision to release five suspects.
“While the video is shocking and disturbing, in order to secure convictions in a court of law it is essential that we conclusively identify each defendant and specify each person’s participance in the incident,” Bragg said.
The five men who were released without bail are expected back in court in February and March. If they miss those court dates, arrest warrants likely would be issued for them.
Under New York’s 2014 sanctuarybill, a move to deport someone could follow their conviction on a felony charge.
How police say the incident unfolded
The incident unfolded as officers tried to break up a “disorderly group” outside the shelter near Times Square and a physical altercation ensued, police said.
When the officers tried to take a person into custody, “multiple unidentified individuals repeatedly kicked and punched the officers in the head and body” and later fled on foot, police said. The officers had minor injuries and were treated on the scene, police said.
While Brito was being apprehended, a struggle ensued with the officers, leading them to fall to the ground, according to a criminal complaint. Others then are accused of striking and kicking the officers, while Brito is accused of fleeing.
“It’s the police’s job to arrest them, the other criminal justice aspect makes the determination if they are going to be kept inside,” Adams told La Mega. “We did our job; we need to make sure that judges look over the seriousness of the case. I don’t believe they should have been released.”
“We cannot allow people to abuse our symbol of authority,” he said. “The police uniform is not only the individual, it is the symbol of authority and law and order and this is not a city of disorder. We’re going to be a city of order.”
The investigation continues and anyone with information is urged to come forward, a spokesperson for Bragg told CNN. “It is paramount that we conclusively identify each defendant and specify each participant’s role in the incident,” the spokesperson said.
CNN’s Nic F. Anderson and Samantha Beech contributed to this report.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
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Now, let's discuss the concepts mentioned in this article.
New York City Police Department (NYPD)
The New York City Police Department, commonly known as the NYPD, is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining public safety and enforcing the law in New York City. It is one of the largest police departments in the United States, with approximately 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees. The NYPD operates in all five boroughs of New York City and is known for its distinctive blue uniforms and patrol cars.
The article mentions an attack that took place outside a migrant shelter in New York City. Migrant shelters are facilities that provide temporary housing and support services for individuals or families who have migrated to a new country. These shelters often offer assistance with basic needs such as food, clothing, medical care, and legal support. They aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for migrants while they navigate the immigration process or seek asylum.
California Town near Mexico
According to the article, the four men charged in the attack on the NYPD officers were released from custody and given bus tickets by a faith-based charity to travel to a California town near Mexico. The specific town is not mentioned in the article, but it suggests that the men may be heading towards Calexico, California, which is located near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The article mentions that a faith-based charity provided bus tickets to the four men charged in the attack. Faith-based charities are organizations that operate based on religious principles and values. They often provide various forms of assistance, including humanitarian aid, social services, and support to individuals or communities in need. These charities may be affiliated with specific religious institutions or operate independently.
Manhattan District Attorney
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is the prosecuting agency responsible for handling criminal cases in Manhattan, one of the boroughs of New York City. The district attorney's office investigates crimes, presents evidence to the grand jury, and prosecutes individuals accused of committing crimes within its jurisdiction. The district attorney's office plays a crucial role in determining whether to request bail for defendants and pursuing charges against them.
Bail and Recognizance
The article mentions that the defendants in the assault outside the migrant shelter were released without bail. Bail is a monetary amount set by a court to ensure that a defendant appears for future court proceedings. If bail is not paid, the defendant may be held in custody until their trial. However, in some cases, defendants may be released on their own recognizance, which means they are released without having to pay bail but are required to return to court for future hearings. The decision to grant bail or release a defendant on recognizance is typically made by a judge based on various factors, including the nature of the charges, the defendant's criminal history, and the likelihood of the defendant appearing in court.
Sanctuary Bill and Deportation
The article mentions New York's 2014 sanctuary bill, which refers to legislation aimed at limiting local law enforcement's cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Under the sanctuary bill, individuals convicted of a felony may face deportation. However, the article does not provide specific details about the provisions of the sanctuary bill or how it applies to the defendants in this case.
These are the key concepts mentioned in the article. If you have any further questions or would like more information on any specific aspect, feel free to ask!