NYPD chief calls attack on officers by migrants ‘Reprehensible’
NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell voiced frustration that the four suspects were released without bail
New York City police officials criticized the recent catch-and-release of a group of migrants allegedly captured on video attacking two police officers near Times Square over the weekend as four more suspects remain on the loose.
John Chell, the NYPD Chief of Patrol, called Saturday’s attack “reprehensible” while calling the suspects who punched and kicked the officers “cowards,” during a Wednesday news conference.
“You saw the video,” Chell said. “You have eight people attacking a lieutenant and a cop. Running up to them and trying to kick them in the face.”
The officers were attempting to disperse a disorderly group on West 42nd Street at around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the NYPD said. When they tried to place one person in custody, they were repeatedly kicked and punched in the head and body, authorities said.
Surveillance video captured the attack. The officers sustained minor injuries and were treated on scene.
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Kelvin Arocha, 19, left, Wilson Juarez, 21, Yorman Reveron, 24, and Darwin Gomez Izquiel, 19, are all charged with attacking a pair of New York City police officers. (NYPD)
Two suspects — Yorman Reveron, 24, and Darwin Andres Gomez Izquiel, 19 — were arrested minutes after the attack. At around 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, officers took Kelvin Servat Arocha, 19, and Wilson Juarez, 21, into custody. All four suspects were released hours later with no bail.
The men, whose mugshots were released by police Wednesday as part of an “officer safety alert,” were all charged with assault on an officer, gang assault, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. They have all pleaded not guilty.
A fifth suspect, Jhoan Boada, 22, was arrested Monday and expected to be arraigned Wednesday. He is charged with attempted assault on a police officer and gang assault.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told Fox News Digital that the investigation into the attack is ongoing, without specifying why the suspects were released without bail.
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“Violence against police officers is never acceptable,” a DA spokesperson said Wednesday. “It is paramount that we conclusively identify each defendant and specify each participant’s role in the incident. Every defendant charged so far is facing felony charges that carry a penalty of up to seven years. This is an active, ongoing investigation.”
Chell blasted the move to release the suspects.
“The four that were arrested should be sitting at Rikers (Island) right now on bail. You want to know why our cops are getting assaulted? There are no consequences.”
This week, Patrick Hendry, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said attacks on police officers have become an “epidemic.”
“And the reason is a revolving door we’re seeing in cases like this one,” he said in a statement posted to social media. “It is impossible for police officers to deal effectively with crime and disorder if the justice system can’t or won’t protect us while we do that work.”
Four other unidentified migrant suspects are also being sought in connection to Saturday’s Times Square attack just steps away from the New Amsterdam Theatre, a popular tourist destination.
Surveillance video screenshots of the other migrants wanted for the Times Square police attack. (NYPD)
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Reveron has two pending cases in Manhattan for assault and robbery, the New York Post reported. He allegedly attacked a loss prevention officer at a Macy’s department store during an alleged robbery and allegedly punched and bit a Nordstrom Rack employee in November.
The attack came as city leaders struggle with how to handle an influx of migrants from Texas as services are strained, and more residents continue to lose patience over how to address the surge.
“The madness continues. What universe are we living in where migrants, who are living rent-free in our city, are allowed to brutally attack police officers and then are released without consequences?,” Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella said in a statement. “Too often, we continue to protect violent criminals and punish victims.
“The recent video of migrants attacking police officers in Times Square is shocking to the senses. Their release just following their arrest has taken this situation to a whole new level.”
Fox News Digital’s Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.
Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].