Bodycam footage showing a vicious attack against two New York City police officers by a group of migrants was released Thursday, hours after authorities announced seven indictments in the case.
The Jan. 27 attack occurred as an NYPD officer and lieutenant were attempting to disperse a disorderly crowd, police said. They were repeatedly kicked and punched in the head and body, authorities said.
Footage from one police bodycam shows the pair of officers walking up to a group of people on 42nd Street at around 8: 30 p.m. One officer is heard telling the group to “vamos” and to move toward 41st Street.
“Don’t touch me,” Yohenry Brito, wearing a yellow jacket, is heard telling an officer in Spanish.
As the rest of the group walks away, they begin chanting something in Spanish. At one point, Brito appears to speak about one of the officers and references the Colombian show “Ugly Betty.”
An officer then grabs Brito and puts him up against a building. Brito is heard asking in Spanish: “Why are you touching me?” and “Why are you stopping me?”
Seconds later, a struggle ensues and Brito appears to try and escape. At that point, the officer’s bodycam falls to the ground.
A view from a street camera shows the officers wrestling with Brito on the ground while being kicked and punched by others in the migrant group, authorities said. Someone wearing a white jacket is also seen shoving the officers before running off.
Brito’s coat comes off during the melee and the officers are seen trying to get him under control while fending off multiple attacks from the other suspects.
Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel, 19, Wilson Juarez, 21, Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19, and Yorman Reveron, 24, were part of the initial group of four who were arrested and later released with no bail. Brito was arrested on Jan. 31. He is being held on Rikers Island.
Jhoan Boada, 22, was also later arrested and was seen flipping off reporters upon his release. He has not been indicted.
Arocha, Gomez-Izquiel and Reveron are both charged with two counts each of second-degree assault and obstructing governmental administration. Juarez, who watched the attack from the sideline, is charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
Brito faces charges of two counts of second-degree assault, obstructing governmental administration, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
Two others have been indicted, but authorities have withheld their names and the charges they face. All charges against the seven suspects are felonies.
During the attack, Gomez-Izquiel grabbed one officer and kicked the other, authorities said. Reveron, who has two other unrelated cases pending, allegedly grabbed, pulled and threw the two officers to the ground.
Juarez and Arocha never hit or kicked the officers. Arocha kicked a police radio and Juarez gave his gray jacket to Brito in an effort to throw off investigators, police said. Boada allegedly kicked an officer in the upper body at least once but has not been indicted as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office continues to investigate his alleged role.
One of the two unidentified suspects who were indicted allegedly kicked and grabbed the leg of an officer. He was arrested at the scene and released by police. The other grabbed an officer, police said.
In addition, three other people possibly involved in the attack have not been identified, police said. One kicked an officer’s head multiple times and grabbed the collar of an officer, police said. The second kicked an officer in the head once and fell to the ground and the third also kicked an officer in the foot, authorities said.
Authorities believe 11 people may have been involved in the attack.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has received heavy criticism from law enforcement and the public after the initial four suspects arrested were released without bail.
“This assault… sickened me and outraged me,” Bragg said during a Thursday news conference. “As a lifelong New Yorker, I do not tolerate attacks on our police officers, and certainly I do not as Manhattan district attorney.”
On Thursday, Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, defended migrants overall but said there is a “small minority that’s participating in illegal behavior.”
“In no way, should we give any indicator that the overwhelming number of migrants and asylum seekers are law-abiding, and they’re pursuing the American dream,” Adams said Thursday.