Authorities release photos of 2 more suspects wanted in Times Square police attack

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024
4 ICE detainees not linked to NYPD Times Square attack, DA says
Sonia Rincon has the story.

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The Manhattan district attorney's office and the NYPD asked for public help on Wednesday to identify and apprehend two unidentified individuals wanted in connection with the assault on a police lieutenant and an officer allegedly by asylum seekers in Times Square.

The NYPD has said as many as 14 people were involved. Some were released on their own recognizance after their arraignment, others still have not been identified.

Six of them have been arrested in the city and charged in the case. A seventh has been arrested, but on other unrelated outstanding charges, and it's not clear if he participated in the assault even though he was on the video and an eighth suspect is in ICE custody.

Four of the six men arrested in NYC were released and were believed to have traveled to California, which is not technically a violation of their release until they fail to show up for court.

So far, one person, Yohenry Brito, has been indicted indicted with the charges set to be unsealed next month and, for now, is being held on Rikers Island on $15,000 bail.

N.J. Burkett has the latest.

On Tuesday, federal agents said they apprehended four individuals on a bus who were traveling to the Phoenix Greyhound Bus Station from El Paso, Texas.

However, it was determined Wednesday that the four people detained by ICE in Arizona this week and taken into custody were not connected to the NYC attack.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has come under criticism over his handling of the case.

The Republicans in the state Senate asked Gov. Kathy Hochul to remove Bragg from office and Police Benevolent Association's Patrick Hendry said, "Attacks on police officers are becoming an epidemic, and the reason is a revolving door we're seeing in cases like this one. 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."

Even Hochul urged the federal government to "get them all and send them back. You don't touch our police officers."

However, sources familiar with the investigation said the incident is more complex than it may seem. Prosecutors have been pouring through police body camera footage to sort out who is responsible for what. Several people seen on video may have had minimal involvement while others are more culpable.

There are additional questions about what touched off the assault. Police have suggested that most, if not all, the suspects were in Times Square for pickpocketing or other criminal activity. Police have said the lieutenant was trying to disperse the group when he and his officer were punched and kicked.

Mayor Eric Adams says he would like the City Council to renew the city's cooperation with ICE so that the two agencies, which are investigating the attack separately, can formally work together.

He said he believes repeat offenders who can be departed should be.

"If I could have the authority and my legal team tells me I have the authority to have cooperation with ICE, for those who commit felony, dangerous crimes, that is something we would love to entertain and to look at," Adams said.

Almost all of the suspects have lived in a city-run shelter for migrants, claiming to be seeking asylum, at some point.

Police have been looking at some of these individuals for connections to larger crime trends. The city's rhetoric about migrants has shifted as resources are stretched by the arrival of nearly 200,000 migrants sent from the southern border.

ALSO READ | Exclusive: NYPD cracks down on illegal scooters amid investigation into officers attacked

Josh Einiger has the exclusive report.


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