New York City

Small Protest Group Breaks Away From March, Damages Lower Manhattan Storefronts: NYPD

NBC Universal, Inc.

At least eight people were arrested Friday evening after a protest through Manhattan turned destructive.

Police say a small group broke away from the march to smash windows and graffiti storefronts at a number of nearby businesses in the Flatiron District.

The eight arrested, ranging in ages between 19 and 30, face charges including rioting and possession of graffiti instruments. One of the eight was also charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, one police spokesperson said.

It was unclear what motivated the actions of the vandals.

A handful of workers returned to their stores late Friday to clear some of the damage and board up storefronts.

"It's disheartening," said Jason Liang. "You have the right to do whatever you want, but why do you have to hurt other people's property?

Surveillance video shared with NBC New York shows four of the alleged vandals dressed in all black move to the front of a Starbucks on Lafayette Street and use some kind of instrument to smash the shop's glass doors and windows.

The protest and destruction comes one day after a group gathered in Times Square to rally in support of the man who suffocated after police in Rochester put a “spit hood” over his head earlier this year.

A black sedan drove through the group Thursday evening, narrowly missing dozens marching on foot and bike that could have been seriously hurt.

Contact Us