NEWS: Migrants arrested by ICE agents in Phoenix might be suspects in NYPD cop-beating who fled NYC: sources
Several migrants were nabbed in Arizona Monday by federal authorities who are investigating if they are members of the same group who fled New York City following their arrests in the caught-on-camera beatdown of two NYPD cops, sources said.
The migrants were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at a Greyhound bus station in Phoenix, according to law enforcement sources and a Fox News report.
ICE agents are working to determine if the migrants are any of the four men suspected to have hopped on a bus bound for California last Wednesday after they were freed without bail in the Jan. 28 attack near Times Square, according to law enforcement sources.
Investigators believe the four — Darwin Andres Gomez, 19, Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19, Wilson Juarez, 21, and Yorman Reveron, 24 — gave phony names to a church-affiliated nonprofit group that helps migrants get rides out of New York City, sources previously told The Post.
ICE agents were notified that the names of the migrants arrested Monday resembled those of the four men who fled the Big Apple — though it’s unclear if similarities applied to the aliases or their real identities, according to sources.
The migrants on Monday were arrested on immigration warrants, sources said.
John Miller, the NYPD’s former deputy commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, said last week the group likely boarded a bus heading to Calexico, a California city near the Mexican border, by way of St. Louis, Missouri.
But local police could do little to catch the alleged state-trotting cop assaulters since they were released on their own recognizance following their arraignments.
“Police have nothing to arrest them on, on the assumption – which they have to operate on – that they’ll be back for their court date,” Miller told CNN.
The former NYPD official had little faith the suspects would return to the Big Apple for their March 4 court date as they each face second-degree assault on a police officer — a bail-eligible offense.
“The chances of that happening when four people get on a bus with false names and head for the city that literally you can cross the street into the Mexican border is probably unlikely,” Miller said.
If the men don’t show up to their scheduled day in court, then warrants could be issued for their arrests.
Three other men were also arrested for the NYPD attack. One was ordered held on bail — $15,000 cash or $50,000 bond — after prosecutors argued he could be identified in the footage of the assault by a “distinct tattoo.”
The high-profile case has reignited debate over what constitutes a bail-eligible offense and has prompted calls for the suspects’ deportations.
“Our criminal system is upside down,” PBA President Patrick Hendry said in a statement. “What message does it send to every New York City police officer, who is on the streets of the city of New York every single day risking their lives to protect New Yorkers? If we’re not protected, how are we going to protect the people in the neighborhoods?”
Gov. Kathy Hochul said she believed the accused attackers should have been held behind bars when asked about the bail issue Friday.
“Any time there is an assault on a police officer, which is a very serious offense, bail should be sought,” she told reporters after the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York Winter Conference.
A day earlier, the Democratic mayor said the suspects should be deported.
“Get them all and send them back,” Hochul told reporters. “You don’t touch our police officers. You don’t touch anyone.”