The lawyer for U.S. Marine veteran Daniel Penny is slamming the decision to release migrants without bail after they were charged with attacking a pair of NYPD officers near Times Square over the weekend.
Surveillance footage of the Saturday night scuffle shows a group of migrants attacking an NYPD officer and lieutenant after they were told to move along.
The suspects can be seen kicking the officers before running off. They were arrested a short time later.
The NYPD identified the suspects as Darwin Andres Gomez Izquiel, 19, Kelvin Servat Arocha, 19, Wilson Juarez, 21, Yorman Reveron, 24 — who has two pending cases in Manhattan for assault and robbery — and Jhoan Boada, 22, who is listed as homeless and an illegal immigrant.
Boada was filmed unashamedly flipping the bird at awaiting reporters as he was released from custody on Wednesday.
On Thursday, two more migrants were arrested — Yohenry Brito, 24, and Jandry Barros, 21 — in connection with the attack.
Brito was arraigned by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with a $15,000 cash bail and a $50,000 partial and secured surety bond bail for the felony charge. Barros was also arraigned Thursday and released, with his next hearing scheduled for Feb. 21.
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Later Thursday, the Manhattan DA’s office declined to prosecute Barros.
“We vigorously condemn assaults on police officers and prosecute those responsible. The question here is whether the person arrested was even involved,” a spokesperson on the Barros case told Fox News. “At this time there is not sufficient evidence that he is one of the people who committed this terrible act.”
Meanwhile, law enforcement sources told the New York Post that four of the charged migrants may have left the city on a bus for California. The NYPD, meanwhile, is looking for additional suspects in connection with the attack.
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Attorney Thomas Kenniff, who is representing Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran charged in the chokehold death of a subway passenger last year, called the prosecutor’s decision to release the migrants without bail “very confounding.”
“The primary purpose of bail is to ensure that people return to court,” Kenniff told Fox News Digital in an interview. “[F]rom what I understand, they seem to have minimal if no ties to New York City.”
Kenniff argued that having limited resources might be a factor in the case, but it wasn’t a “reason not to set bail at all.”
He said the defendants had all the indications “of someone who might not be willing to return to court to face the consequences of their actions.”
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“Moreover, anyone who is willing to resist arrest — or even worse, assault a police officer — that’s indicative of someone who doesn’t have respect for the legal system, which makes them even less likely to return to court,” Kenniff said. “So if there was ever a situation where bail is appropriate, this seems that sort of case.”
Penny pleaded not guilty last summer to charges of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man and former Michael Jackson impersonator, who witnesses said was shouting and begging for money.
Penny allegedly pinned Neely to the ground with the help of two other passengers and held him in a chokehold for several minutes, according to prosecutors. Penny’s lawyers argued in court filings that Neely’s erratic behavior was “insanely threatening,” and the Marine veteran stepped in to defend himself and other passengers.
A judge granted Penny the same $100,000 bail conditions that previously led to his release from custody. Earlier this month, a New York City judge denied Penny’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against him.
The assault on the police officers has underscored the city’s struggle to deal with an influx of migrants who were bussed into the Big Apple from the Texas-Mexico border.
Fox News Digital’s Louis Casiano, Bailee Hill and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.
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