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‘Tough Guy' Arrested in Caught-on-Camera Water Attack on NYPD Traffic Agents: Commissioner

The arrest comes on the heels of Wednesday's proposed legislation to make throwing water at police a felony; that proposal has caused some controversy

What to Know

  • A Brooklyn man has been arrested for allegedly spraying water on two uniformed NYPD traffic agents in Queens last week
  • It was the latest in a series of water-dousing attacks on members of the NYPD; there were two other cases in Manhattan and the Bronx
  • The arrest comes on the heels of Wednesday's proposal to make throwing water at police a felony; that proposal has caused some controversy

A 35-year-old Brooklyn man has been arrested for allegedly spraying two NYPD traffic agents with water from a bottle in Queens earlier this week -- on the heels of continued outrage over viral video of buckets of water thrown at cops.

Steven Larosa was charged with obstructing governmental administration and harassment in connection with the July 24 water attack on two on-duty uniformed NYPD agents near 86th Street and Jamaica Avenue. No injuries were reported and information on a possible attorney for Larosa, the latest to be arrested in a series of bizarre water attacks on uniformed NYPD, was available.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill confirmed the arrest via Twitter Thursday, writing, "The tough guy who confronted two NYPD traffic enforcement agents doing the job taxpayers want & expect them to do has been arrested. Such behavior will never be tolerated."

Larosa's arrest comes a day after elected officials joined New York City and Long Island police union leaders to propose legislation that would make throwing water on cops a felony. The proposed bill emerged amid mounting frustration over viral videos that surfaced showing a Harlem crowd throwing buckets of water -- and in one case, the bucket -- on officers making an arrest. A separate water-dousing incident had also been reported in the Bronx. 

New York Assemblyman Mike LiPetri, a Republican, was among the lawmakers and police unions who gathered to propose the bill. 

"It’s a sad day in the history of New York state when we have to legislate civility. It’s even a sadder day in the history of the greatest city in the world when a culture of disrespect against our police has been fostered,” LiPetri said.

The proposal would make it a felony to throw or spray water or any other substance on an on-duty police or peace officer.

"We must send a strong message that such acts will not be tolerated," LiPetri said.

When referencing those who may think the punishment is to harsh for dousing a police officer with water, LiPetri replied that "the only thing that is harsh is the pattern of disrespect towards police."

New York City PBA President Patrick Lynch was also present to ask City Hall to support police.

"We expect this legislation to move, to move quickly and to pass," he said. 

The proposal came after several people were arrested in separate caught-on-camera incidents where they doused buckets of water on NYPD officers in the Bronx and Manhattan earlier this month.

Video of the NYPD cops getting doused with buckets of water in Harlem even caught President Donald Trump's attention. 

"What took place in NYC with water being tossed on NYPD officers was a total disgrace," Trump previously tweeted. "What took place was completely unacceptable, and will not be tolerated."

He called on de Blasio to "act immediately," though he didn't say what action he believed the mayor should take.

For his part, following the dousing of the police officers, de Blasio retweeted a post by NYPD Chief Terence Monahan condemning the actions, saying "The NYPD kept New Yorkers safe through the heat wave and Sunday night's outages. We won't tolerate this kind of disrespect."

Responding to NBC 4 New York's request for comment on the accusations made Wednesday by LiPetri against de Blasio as well as the proposed piece of legislation, a spokesperson for the mayor said: “The mayor has spent the last five years working to improve relations between police and the communities they serve. He will never tolerate disrespect against our officers and will always be the loudest voice in their defense.”

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.

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