Arrest made after traffic agent sprayed by fire extinguisher in Harlem, police search for 2 others

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Teen arrested in fire extinguisher attack against NYPD traffic agent
The attack against the officer happened in Harlem.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- One of three men wanted for spraying a fire extinguisher at an NYPD traffic agent who was in his car has been arrested.

Ammar Alhesheshi, 18, was charged with assault in connection with the attack.

The NYPD said 19-year-old Escarlin Polanco Gonzalez and an unidentified man are still being sought.

The traffic enforcement agent was working near St. Nicholas Avenue and West 118th Street in Harlem when at least three people pulled up in a vehicle last Thursday.

One person in the group discharged a fire extinguisher in the officer's face and then took off. The officer was taken to the hospital and was expected to recover.

Officials say one of the alleged perpetrators posted the attack on social media.

Mayor Eric Adams said the "clowns" who sprayed a fire extinguisher at an NYPD traffic agent sitting in his vehicle in Harlem will all be caught.

"It is not only disrespectful to a civil servant, but it is an attack on the foundation of our city, it's not a joke. it's not funny," Adams said.

The next day, last Friday, there was a separate attack by a different group on another officer.

Police say it was around 4 p.m. near West Drive and West 90th Street on the Upper West Side, when an on-duty NYPD officer on a marked police scooter attempted to escort three people riding motorcycles out of Central Park.

That's when one of the three struck the officer, causing him to fall, and the motorcycle-riding assailants fled the scene.

The officer was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

The Police Benevolent Association responded to the attacks and said that criminals are emboldened because they don't think they will be held accountable and added that the criminal justice system needs to be strengthened.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

ALSO READ | Victim speaks out after being doused in flaming liquid, set on fire on subway train

Kemberly Richardson has the exclusive interview.


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