6 facing charges in connection with assault on police officers in Times Square

The assault occurred Saturday as officers were taking someone into custody.

February 1, 2024, 7:12 PM

Six people, most of whom are believed to be asylum-seekers, are now facing charges in connection with Saturday night’s caught-on-camera assault of an NYPD officer and lieutenant. At least eight more are being sought, according to police.

Yohenry Brito was arraigned Thursday afternoon with bail set at $15,000 cash. He is the first of the defendants to be held on bail.

Police and prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office are investigating whether the first four defendants, who were released without bail, subsequently boarded a bus to California using fake names.

Police sources said the four provided phony names to a nonprofit group working with the city on migrant issues before boarding the bus. Workers were able to identify the men from their mug shots, which have circulated in the media.

As ABC News previously reported, the assault on the officers occurred Saturday afternoon near Times Square as the law enforcement officials were trying to take a person into custody.

According to police, officers attempted to disperse a disorderly group on West 42nd St. when a physical altercation occurred. When the officers attempted to place an individual in custody, the suspects began to kick and punch the officers, according to the NYPD. The suspects then fled.

PHOTO: 5 asylum-seekers are pictured in an encounter with police officers in Times Square on Jan. 27, 2024.
5 asylum-seekers are pictured in an encounter with police officers in Times Square on Jan. 27, 2024.
NYPD Crime Stoppers

The officers sustained minor injuries and were treated on the scene.

"We are continuing to investigate the incident," a statement from the DA said. "We now have additional video surveillance that was not available at the time of arraignment and are continuing to speak to witnesses in order to determine the specific role of each defendant."

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell called the attack on the two police officers "reprehensible" and said the attackers were "cowards."

Chell criticized the release of the suspects, saying they "should be sitting in Rikers right now, on bail. Should be indicted this week and taken off our streets."

ABC News was not immediately able to locate a legal representative for Brito.

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