What to Know
- A New York City man has been charged in the latest caught-on-video case of people dousing police officers with buckets of water.
- Robert Perez was arraigned on Friday on harassment, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass
- The arrest comes two days after police made a round of arrests in connection with various dousings around the city
A New York City man has been charged in the latest caught-on-video case of people dousing police officers with buckets of water.
Robert Perez was arraigned on Friday on harassment, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. A phone message seeking comment was left with his attorney.
The 24-year-old Perez was arrested in connection with the drenching of two police officers by a crowd with buckets of water on Sunday in the Bronx. The incident on East 173rd Street and Boston Road in the Bronx was captured on cellphone video.
Later Friday night, the NYPD released images of 10 more people wanted in connection to dumping buckets of water at a cop in Harlem. The officer in that incident was doused while trying to make an arrest, then had a red bucket thrown at his head.
The latest arrest comes two days after police made a round of arrests in connection with the dousings, which involved police getting soaked after responding to unruly neighborhood water fights during a recent spate of hot weather.
Three people face charges after the videos surfaced on Monday. Those charged include Courtney Thompson, Isiah Scott and Chad Bowden, all 28. They face varying charges including disorderly conduct, harassment, criminal mischief and obstructing government administration, among other offenses. It wasn't immediately clear if any of the three had retained attorneys.
Two of the suspects were arrested for allegedly throwing water at a woman and ruining her phone as a result, police said. They were seen in the video of the Harlem incident, but did not take part in chucking water on the officer or throwing the bucket, according to police. The other man arrested was directly involved in dousing an officer.
Police officials have expressed outrage over the incidents and conducted an aggressive search for suspects. President Donald Trump added his voice Thursday to the chorus of people upset about the videos.
"What took place in NYC with water being tossed on NYPD officers was a total disgrace," Trump tweeted. "What took place was completely unacceptable, and will not be tolerated."
He called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to "act immediately," though he didn't say what action he believed the mayor should take.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan tweeted Wednesday morning that a 28-year-old "known gang member" had been cuffed in the case. "Actions like we’ve seen in videos recently will NEVER be tolerated in this city," he added.
The videos sparked debate on whether the behavior was simply a prank on a hot day, or a display of anti-police sentiment. One of the videos shows officers making an arrest in Harlem, with the suspect in custody on the back of a police cruiser. Onlookers were tossing buckets of water on the cops, and at one point threw one of the buckets at an officer's head.
Another video showed two NYPD cops, already soaking wet, walking away and getting covered with another bucket of water, as people seen on the video watched with shocked expressions on their faces.
The police involved in both dousings appeared to shrug them off, either in a spirit of good humor or remarkable restraint.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea sent out a tweet Tuesday evening including images of the men wanted for questioning in the "assault/criminal mischief" on West 116th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.
Top Tri-State News Photos
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill retweeted Shea, adding that "As a city & a PD, we’ll never accept such disrespect."
In an internal NYPD memo obtained by News 4 Tuesday, the department said, "Police officers are not expected to tolerate conduct that may cause risk of injury to themselves and the public, interferes with the performance of their duties or tampers with or damages their uniform, equipment or other department property."
The memo outlined a number of possible violations for which cops could ticket offenders, including disorderly conduct, harassment and obstructing governmental administration.
People on social media praised the officers for continuing to do their jobs and just walking away, but local officials say the behavior is unacceptable.
"The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in #Harlem is reprehensible. NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less," NYPD Chief Terence Monahan said in a tweet.
Mayor de Blasio echoed Chief Monahan by retweeting him and saying "The NYPD kept New Yorkers safe through the heat wave and Sunday night's outages. We won't tolerate this kind of disrespect."
Since then, other videos have begun circulating showing groups of laughing children and teenagers in New York wetting police officers with squirt guns or buckets of water after officers got too close to water fights.
Police union officials have been incensed, saying the incidents show a lack of respect that is threatening public safety. The Police Department issued a memo to officers, urging them not to tolerate such behavior.