Police released photos of two more suspects who are being sought as part of a mob of up to 14 men who assaulted two NYPD officers near a shelter in Times Square on Jan. 27. DA Alvin Bragg has been under fire for only retaining one of the original eight suspects.
A total of eight people have been arrested, but only one is in custody and at least four are believed by police to have fled after their release by using false names to obtain bus tickets to California from a church group that was helping migrants.
The one migrant in custody is Yohenry Brito, 24, who was seen on police body camera to have been pushing a baby stroller with items in it when he was grabbed by one of the officers. Brito is on Rikers Island after being charged in the ensuing tussle with the two police officers that left all three of them crashing to the ground as other migrants surrounded and kicked the officers, temporarily allowing Brito to elude arrest. He was picked up one day after the initial five and faced charges of assaulting a police officer, gang assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Those facing the same charges but not remanded to custody included: Andres Gomez Isquiel, 19; Yorman Reveron, 24; Wilson Juarez, 19: and Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19. Police also arrested Jhoan Boada, 22, and charged him with assault of a police officer and gang assault. One of those arrested initially was freed due to insufficient evidence.
Bragg, at a press conference announcing seven indictments against the group of migrants, defended his decision to free seven of those arrested because he said the video was so chaotic that prosecutors could not be sure who had done what during the melee. “This assault, as it did to many of you, sickened me and outraged me.” He called the incident “despicable” and “heinous.”
The video released after the press conference appeared to partially contradict the initial police statements. It showed Brito slowly walking away after the group was ordered to disperse, pushing a baby stroller with his possessions. When a cop attempts to nudge him along, he says in Spanish, “Don’t touch me.” A few seconds later, he is grabbed by one of the officers and pushed against a building wall. As he struggles to escape and a second officer moves in, the other migrants, who had also been walking away at the time, returned and the melee ensued with Brito and two officers tumbling to the ground and other migrants kicking the officers as they attempted to handcuff Brito.
Governor Kathy Hochul had called for the migrants to be deported when news reached her as she was showing off a new MTA subway car. Mayor Eric Adams appeared with the embattled DA on Feb. 8 as they tried to quell the firestorm of criticism that incident had stirred up.
“This assault, as it did to many of you, sickened me and outraged me.” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.