Authorities question source of bail funds for man charged in Times Square attack on officers

ByAnthony Carlo WABC logo
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Source of bail for man charged in attack on NYPD cops causes tension
Anthony Carlo has more

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- Droves of immigration rights advocates poured into a Manhattan court room Tuesday for the bail hearing of a man charged in an attack against NYPD officers in Times Square.

Police say Yohenry Brito instigated a brawl that led to punches and kicks being thrown at NYPD officers, but advocates say the bodycam video paints a different picture.

"People are angry and they're looking for someone to blame it on," Sergio Uzurin said.

Uzurin, who is part of an ICE watchdog group, says the city is looking for a scapegoat.

Brito, a migrant, charged with assault, had posted $15,000 cash bail, but it was reinstated Friday. Brito was taken back into custody. His short time in the country and lack of community ties has prompted the court to investigate the source of the funds.

"I can't comment on the specifics of the case other than that it was a bail fund," Uzurin said.

A bail fund is usually created by a community organization to help low-income defendants, but in this case, it's causing a stir.

"Why would you want this violent individual who started this gang assault on our police officers, back on - roaming the streets again? Makes no sense," said PBA President Patrick Hendry.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday says he is currently reviewing video that shows chaos breaking out at the migrant shelter on Randall's Island last Thursday, as police tried to remove a man not authorized to be there. A mob of people hurled objects at the officers.

"Anytime you have 3,000 people who are placed in an environment that they cannot work. Things like this have the potential to happen," he said.

But migrants, as a whole, advocates say, cannot be painted as the source of all the city's problems.

"They'll blame it on incoming migrants and that is something we've seen in history before, and it gets very ugly," Uzurin said.

As far as Brito, prosecutors say bail is necessary without "a strong community" behind him.

Uzurin says there's no reason to expect Brito will try to skip court.

"I think the defendant is very interested in returning to court and we don't think there'd be anything undue on the side of the defendant," Uzurin said.

The hearing to investigate Brito's bail could happen soon. His defense lawyer anticipates he will make bail again within a day or so.


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