DA Says They Didn't Know Vagrants Attacked Officer When They Dropped Charges
New York, NY – The New York Police Department said it will arrest three vagrants who attacked a lone police officer in a Manhattan subway station, and admitted it never told prosecutors about the incident when the vagrants were later arrested for sleeping on the platform.
The lone police officer valiantly defending himself with a baton against the three intoxicated vagrants was caught on video.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr was criticized for dropping illegal-sleeping charges against the three vagrants who attacked the officer, according to the New York Post.
Danny Frost, a spokesman for the DA, said the office would never have declined to prosecute the vagrants if it knew the men were involved in the subway attack on the officer, according to the New York Post.
None of the men were charged following the attempted attack on the officer.
One of the men fell onto the tracks and five vagrants were sent to the hospital for treatment due to being highly intoxicated, according to the NYPD.
After the video was posted online, police went back to the subway station Monday morning and arrested all five for sleeping on the platform in violation of city law, according to the New York Post.
“At the time of the arrest for the Local Law on 12-24-18, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was not made aware of the attempted assault of the police officer that took place the prior night on 12-23-18,” NYPD spokeswoman Sergeant Jessica McRorie said, according to the New York Post.
Two of the vagrants face charges of riot and obstructing governmental administration while a third vagrant faces those two charges and attempted assault, Sgt. McRorie said.
Blue Lives Matter originally reported on the video that involved Officer Syed Ali on Dec. 24.
“Stand back! Stand back!” Officer Ali yelled in the video had he held his expandable baton.
One of the men ignored the Officer Ali’s command and charged him, according to the video.
Officer Ali kicked the would-be attacker, who fell backwards and hit the ground.
“I don’t want to hurt you!” Officer Ali warned when another assailant started marching towards him.
Officer Ali gave another kick to that man who fell backwards and almost landed on top of the first suspect before he regained his footing and made another run at the officer.
The NYPD’s largest union had criticized DA Vance Jr on Dec. 25 for not prosecuting the drunk vagrants.
“The district attorney’s job is to prosecute crimes, not to act like a social advocate,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said, according to the New York Post. “These men chose to drink to excess and then to attack a police officer like a pack of jackals when given a lawful order to move on. They should be held accountable for their actions.”
“There is no telling how much damage these mopes would have done to that courageous police officer had he not been equipped to handle them,” Lynch said, according to the New York Post. “Had it gone the other way, we might have had a seriously injured or dead police officer instead. It’s wrong that they were not charged for attacking him.”
Prosecutors said that the vagrants were arrested for sleeping on the floor of a subway station which they said was a rules violation and not a crime.
Frost said that prosecutors have not prosecuted sleeping on the floor of a subway since March 2016 due to a policy established by the police commissioner and the mayor.
Riders at the East Broadway F-train station said aggressive, intoxicated vagrants are problematic.
“You feel scared because you don’t know what their intentions are,” said Jackie Hurd, 45, a retired sanitation worker, according to the New York Post.
You can watch the lone officer’s encounter with the hostile crowd in the video below: