Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has defended the decision to release a group of migrants who allegedly attacked police officers in Times Square, as a Supreme Court justice slams him for prosecuting COVID vaccine card dodgers.
Seven suspects were arrested and charged with Robbery and Felony Assault following a vicious attack on NYPD officers in Times Square last Saturday.
Four of those believed to have been involved were released without bail are now feared to have fled by bus to California using a church-affiliated migrant charity.
When confronted by reporters about his decision on Friday, Bragg refused to engage and walked away without answering questions.
One reporter can be heard asking ‘why were those migrants released?’, while another said ‘do you regret it? do your regret letting these migrants free?’
When confronted by reporters about his decision on Friday, Bragg refused to engage and walked away without answering questions
Bragg kept his mouth closed the whole time, refusing to engage with the group who follow him to his car.
During a press conference later that day, Bragg defended the move to release the group, stating that it was based on evidence available at the time.
He said: ‘While the video is shocking and disturbing, in order to secure convictions in the court of law, it is essential that we conclusively identify each defendant.
‘In Manhattan, we don’t tolerate or accept assaults on police officers. I watched the tape this week. Despicable behavior. It sickened me and outraged me.’
Yohenry Brito, 24, was arraigned in Manhattan criminal court on Thursday and is the only one of the suspects being held on bail.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said the $15,000 cash bail or a $50,000 bond was warranted because Brito had been positively identified in video of the attack through a ‘distinct tattoo.’
The brutal attack occurred around 8:30 pm when officers attempted to disperse a disorderly group in front of 220 West 42 Street.
A fight broke out between a suspect in a yellow sweatshirt and the police officers.
The sixth suspect, Yohenry Brito, 24, was arraigned in Manhattan criminal court on Thursday and is the only one of the suspects being held on bail
Darwin Andres Gomez (left) and Kelvin Servita Arocha were also released without bail
Wilson Juarez (lef) and Yorman Reveron are charged with ganging up on two cops in Times Square
Jhoan Boada (pictured), 22, was arrested Monday night and charged with Attempted Assault on a Police Officer and Gang Assault
According to the NYPD, the migrants then started to attack the officers, kicking them in the head and body while the two officers tried to pin down one of the other men, tearing off his sweatshirt.
The migrants then ran away, making their getaway east on 42nd Street toward Seventh Avenue.
At around 10:44 p.m. that night, four of them – Darwin Andres Gomez Izquiel, 19, Kelvin Servat Arocha, 19, Juarez Wilson, 21, and Yorman Reveron, 24 – were arrested.
They were all charged with Assault on a Police Officer, Gang Assault, Obstructing Governmental Administration and Disorderly Conduct but were released without monetary bail.
Gomez, Arocha, Juarez and Reveron are believed to have given fake names to a church-affiliated nonprofit group that helps migrants get rides out of the city, law enforcement sources told the Post.
As he left the courthouse, the 22-year-old raised his middle fingers up at reporters and smirked
The gang are said to have struck after being asked to keep moving without cops. The suspected attackers were later arrested…and subsequently freed without bail
Police sources confirmed the men’s migrant status to the New York Post. Several addresses of the men provided by the police are homeless and migrant shelters
Three of the men – Izquiel, Arocha and Wilson – were release on their own recognizance, meaning they were freed from custody without bail while their case is pending.
Reveron was granted supervised release without bail. He already has two open cases for assault and robbery in Manhattan, having stolen from and assaulted a Nordstrom Rack employee in November.
Earlier this week, state Supreme Court Judge Brendan T. Lantry slammed Bragg and dismissed felony charges brought by his office against two New Yorkers who bought fake COVID vaccine cards.
In a ruling, Lantry called the case overkill and threw out the charges against them the two unknown individuals.
Nursing student J.O. and R.V., an employee with the Department of Environmental Protection, were among hundreds accused of buying the fake document from stripper Jasmine Clifford.
State Supreme Court Justice Brendan T. Lantry slammed Bragg and dismissed felony charges brought by his office against two New Yorkers
Jasmine Clifford, seen here in 2021, allegedly sold several hundred fake COVID-19 vaccination cards at $200 a pop to New York City-area jab dodgers
Clifford is alleged to have sold hundreds of fake vaccination cards at $200 a pop to New York City-area jab dodgers.
Lantry said that Bragg’s office had ‘cherry picked’ to prosecute and charge with felony criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to the New York Post.
In the opinion, filed on Tuesday, Lantry said Bragg’s office ‘routinely move to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictment to avoid harsher penalties for previously convicted felons or to avoid jeopardizing people’s immigration status.’
It added: ‘These motions submitted [by Bragg and his prosecutors] are made months or even years after the 45-day period has expired to dismiss sexual assaults, drug sales, robbery, burglary, and other violent and non-violent serious felony offenses.’
Since taking office in 2022, Bragg has came under fire not seeking prison time for certain charges, and downgrading felony charges in a slew of cases, including armed robbery and some drug offenses.
The migrant crisis previously affected southern states near the border like Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
But the issue has increasingly impacted cities including New York, Boston and Chicago as buses filled with thousands of migrants are sent to Democratic-led area across the US.