Dozens of residents banded together Tuesday to try to stop federal immigration agents from arresting an undocumented man accused of burglary, according to reports.
The neighbors gathered on 112th Street in Richmond Hill, trying to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from arresting 35-year-old Hardat Sampat, a Guyanese national.
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Sampat is accused of burglary and re-entering the U.S. illegally, according to the Daily News. He was on his way to Queens Criminal Court Tuesday morning for a scheduled appearance when ICE agents in unmarked cars boxed the vehicle he was in and took him into custody.
His wife, who was in the driver's seat, refused to move the vehicle, blocking ICE agents from driving away.
Within minutes, a number of people began gathering in protest of the arrest.
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“My sister in law, my mother in law, say he’s innocent,” said one woman, who wasn’t identified. “He didn’t do anything. Why? Why is this? He had a court case today. Let him go. And let the judge make the decision.”
Police eventually convinced Sampat’s wife to move her car, and ICE agents took Sampat in for processing.