NYPD’s Chief of Patrol John Chell didn’t mince words on Wednesday when it came to the weekend assault of two cops outside a Midtown migrant shelter.
The incident unfolded on Sunday night outside 220 West 42 St., when a police officer and lieutenant attempted to break up a disorderly crowd. As the cops tried to make arrests, they were beaten by several migrants with a flurry of kicks and punches, as seen in shocking surveillance video.
“I mean look, it’s 8 on 2, 10 on 2, getting kicked in the face. That’s a cowardly act,” Chell said, after a press conference dealing with the state of the NYPD.
The bruised and beat-up cops still managed to arrest 19-year-old Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel, who has a Mississippi address; 19-year-old Kelvin Servita Arocha, who resides in Brooklyn; 24-year-old Yorman Reveron, also listed as residing in Brooklyn; and 21-year-old Wilson Juarez, who lives in Queens.
The NYPD nabbed a fifth suspect two days later, 22-year-old Jhoan Boada.
Despite being charged with assaulting a police officer, all five men were released on their own recognizance.
Their release enraged Chell. He told amNewYork Metro that if criminals think they can get away with attacking cops with a mere slap on the wrist, it makes NYPD officers vulnerable to future assaults.
“They should be sitting in Rikers right now. They should be indicted this week and taken off our streets,” Chell said. “You want to know why our cops are getting assaulted? There’s no consequences. We must change this, end of story.”
The officers involved in the brawl suffered scratches and bruises and were treated at the scene for their injuries. At least three of the attackers are still on the lam and are being sought by police for their role in the assault.
“I’m not placing blame anywhere,” Chell said of the judge. “But you want to send a message? Why are cops being assaulted? Why do we feel so emboldened that this is happening? If you are a bad person and you see that and are out the next day, well next time I am confronted by a cop I might as well go for it as well.”