Three men, including a reputed gang member, were arrested Wednesday in the wake of widely publicized incidents of police officers being doused with water and in one case struck with a bucket, officials said.
Officers in Harlem and Brooklyn were seen on viral internet videos over the weekend being drenched by assailants, incidents that sparked outrage from NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
"Actions like we’ve seen in videos recently will NEVER be tolerated in this city. YOU WILL BE ARRESTED,” Monahan said on Twitter.
What I saw was shameful, what I saw was dangerous, there is no two ways about it,” city Public Advocate Jumaane Williams told reporters Wednesday.
In one incident Sunday in Harlem, two officers were seen on video being doused by buckets of water as they tried to arrest a suspect in an unrelated case. As that event unfolded, one of the officers was struck in the head by a red bucket thrown by a still-unidentified assailant.
In the other incident, Saturday in Brooklyn, two uniformed officers were shown being drenched by water thrown from buckets as they walked on the street. The officers didn’t react to what was being done to them, though they appeared completely soaked.
Courtney Thompson, 28, of Brooklyn surrendered at the 73rd Precinct station early Wednesday and was charged in the Saturday attack, officials said. Thompson, a reputed gang member, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, the latter charge stemming from damage caused by water to police equipment, officials said. Disorderly conduct is a violation, the others misdemeanors.
Two other suspects, Isaiah Scott, 23, and Chad Bowden, 28, both of Manhattan, were charged with misdemeanors and violations in connection with a water-filled bucket attack in Harlem on a 35-year-old woman visiting from Texas, said police. However, Scott and Bowden weren’t charged with the nearby bucket attack on the officers.
All three suspects were being held as of late Wednesday, police said.
The bucket attacks prompted police union brass and union officials to denounce the actions, with Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch saying they illustrated disorder and chaos on city streets.
Sergeants Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins said the incidents reflect the indecisiveness of officers today because of the “Pantaleo effect,” referring to the case in which Eric Garner lost his life as officer Daniel Pantaleo tried to arrest him in July 2014 on Staten Island.
“If the cops are not defending themselves, do you really think they are going to defend the public?” Mullins asked.
Lynch said the NYPD had issued guidance on how officers could make an arrest in such situations, but that prosecutors turn deaf ears to the complaints.