Several migrants accused of beating NYPD officers in Times Square and later fleeing the city have been apprehended in Arizona by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE officials arrested the migrants Monday evening at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix but have not yet released their identities, according to Fox News.
Videos emerged last week showing a mob of migrants ganging up on two NYPD officers in Times Square. While the migrants were arrested and charged for assault, several were soon released back to the streets without bail. Two of the migrants were seen giving the middle finger to reporters as they left police custody, causing national outrage on social media.
Four of the migrants released without bail—Yorman Reveron, 24; Wilson Juarez, 21; Darwin Andres Gomez, 19; and Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19—were believed to have gotten rides out of the Big Apple and fled for California after giving fake names to a church-affiliated group.
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg came under scrutiny for releasing the migrants without bail, but he defended his decision by suggesting the video evidence did not conclusively identify the assailants.
“In Manhattan, we don’t tolerate or accept assaults on police officers,” Bragg said. “I watched the tape this week. Despicable behavior. It sickened me and outraged me. While the video is shocking and disturbing, in order to secure convictions in a court of law, it is essential that we conclusively identify each defendant.”
New York governor Kathy Hochul (D.), however, was unhappy with Bragg, claiming at a press conference last week that she wanted to discuss with the district attorney why most of the migrants were let go without bail.
“My number one priority is protecting the people of this state,” Hochul said, “and any time there’s an assault on a police officer, which is a very serious offense, it is bail eligible, and bail should be sought.”
“There are over 100 crimes that also can lead to deportation, and so that is also something I want to have a conversation with the district attorney about—his options here,” the governor added.
The migrants’ assault on the two officers occurred just days before New York City mayor Eric Adams announced a $53 million program to give pre-paid credit cards to migrant families housed in the city’s hotels, a proposal that Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) denounced as “outrageous” and “offensive.”