Midtown cop assault: Charges dropped against Jhoan Boada, identified as wrong man in outrageous attack

Midtown cop assault
The Manhattan DA’s office has dropped charges against Jhoan Boada after hew as found to be misidentified as a suspect in the Jan. 27 assault on two officers in Midtown.
Screenshot from video courtesy of NYPD

Prosecutors have dropped charges against one of the seven suspects connected to the brazen Midtown assault on two police officers in January that shocked and outraged the city.

Jhoan Boada, 17, who police said was homeless, had been picked up several days after the Jan. 27 attack outside a migrant shelter on West 42nd Street. According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, a “thorough and diligent investigation” revealed that cops had charged the wrong man.

Boada was apparently misidentified as one of the participants in the brawl, in which a group of migrants assaulted two officers near the Candler Building during an arrest that grew out of hand.

According to police sources, the cops attempted to break up what they described as a disorderly group loitering. But after things turned violent, the cops wrestled with one man, trying to place him in cuffs. That’s when the rest of the group piled in — unleashing kicks and punches upon the members of service just outside of the shelter.

The cops were battered across their bodies and heads, and were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Public outrage grew after the NYPD released footage of the assault, and the public learned that seven individuals arrested for the incident, including Boada, had been subsequently released from custody without bail at their arraignment. It prompted one high-ranking NYPD official, Chief of Patrol John Chell, to lament, “They should be sitting on Rikers right now.”

Anger grew further when Boada was photographed flipping off journalists attending his perp walk. The New York Post published the photo, and critics used the image as ammunition for a narrative of “migrant crime” being allegedly out of control.

The latter note wasn’t lost on one local elected official, Manhattan City Council Member Shaun Abreu. 

“The authoritarians over at @FoxNews care a lot more about throwing people in jail than they do about proof,” Abreu wrote Friday on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Thankfully, @ManhattanDA doesn’t have that same problem. He took the time to determine that someone Fox had already convicted wasn’t even at the scene of the crime.”

According to Bragg’s office, their probe found that Boada had been misidentified “as a participant in this assault.”

“Our investigation revealed that Marcelino Estee, not Jhoan Boada, is the individual described in this complaint, wearing the black-and-white jacket with pink shoes, committing this assault,” Bragg’s office said in a March 1 statement. “Marcelino Estee has been charged for his participation. We are therefore moving to dismiss this complaint against Jhoan Boada.”

The DA’s motion to dismiss the Boada complaint was ultimately granted. The New York Post reported that Estee was tracked down on Feb. 29, and ordered held on $15,000 bail following his arraignment Friday on gang assault charges.