Seven suspects accused of participating in the infamous assault on two NYPD officers outside a Midtown migrant shelter last month have been indicted, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday.
According to Bragg, the grand jury indictment came after detectives thoroughly reviewed various video footage, including the officers’ body-worn cameras, along with witness interviews to identify the perpetrators. The indictments came weeks after several of the suspects were released on their own recognizance upon arraignment, something which infuriated police brass and many observers throughout the city.
But on Thursday, Bragg maintained that the deliberate investigation led to an air-tight indictment to ensure that those involved were actually guilty of the crimes for which they are accused.
“A grand jury has returned an indictment on seven individuals for their roles and assault on two police officers in Times Square on Jan. 27. This assault, as it did to many of you, sickened me in outrage,” Bragg said. “As a lifelong New Yorker, I do not tolerate attacks on our police officers, and certainly I do not as Manhattan District Attorney.”
Of the seven individuals indicted, two of the defendants remain at large; the charges against them remain sealed at this time. Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel, Wilson Juarez, Kelvin Servita Arocha, Yorman Reveron, and Yohenry Brito are the five all already apprehended.
“We have to ensure that we identify and charge those individuals who actually committed criminal acts in this matter. The only thing worse than failing to bring perpetrators to justice would be to ensnare innocent people in the criminal justice system,” Bragg said, explaining the length of time it took to arraign the suspects.
Mayor Adams looked on solemnly as Bragg gestured at still images from video footage displayed on a large screen, pointing to exact violent moments such as Gomez-Izquiel grabbing and kicking an officer.
As previously reported by amNewYork Metro, Bragg also charged that some of the suspects attempted to evade capture by changing clothing.
“In some of the video surveillance and in some of the pictures and some of the switching of clothing. Not only shows the thoroughness of the investigation, but how sophisticated these individuals were that understood that they can switch clothing to throw off the investigators but that did not happen,” Mayor Adams said.
However, newly released court documents are also revealing fresh information regarding the moment before the melee unfolded. Statements made on the record, along with paperwork, report that when the cops arrived in Times Square on Jan. 27 to disperse a disorderly group blocking the roadway, they ordered the crowd to move. Upon refusing, one cop apparently grabbed Brito and pushed him against a building. This has left many asking for the officers’ body camera footage to be released.
Still, both Mayor Adams and DA Bragg cite the attack on the NYPD horrific, unjustified, and hard to watch.
“Let me be clear, plain and simple. The behavior depicted many of you seen is despicable,” Bragg said.