Suspect In Water Attack on NYPD Officers Allegedly a Gang Member: Report

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
July 24, 2019 Updated: July 24, 2019

Police sources cited by The New York Post said a suspect in one of two separate incidents in which NYPD officers were doused with water is allegedly a member of a gang.

The individual was described in the report as a gang member in his 20s but was otherwise not described nor identified by name. He remained at large as of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to the report.

The incidents—one of which involved a water bucket striking an officer’s head—took place in Brooklyn and Harlem on Sunday, July 21.

The suspect alleged to be a gang member in the Post report is said to have been involved in the Brooklyn incident.

NYPD Chief Terence Monahan on Tuesday shared images of the three suspects t in connection with the Harlem incident, writing, “Every New Yorker should be disgusted by the suspects’ illegal behavior.”

A senior Police Department official told CNN on Tuesday that one of the suspects is already in custody. According to the official, the suspect has not yet been charged with a crime.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said on Twitter that the suspects “are wanted in regard to an assault/criminal mischief.” Shea added that one of the officers targeted had been “hit in the head with a water bucket.”

The NYPD issued a release on Tuesday saying the officer who was hit with the bucket “suffered pain and swelling to the back of his head.”

‘That Ain’t Alright’

Speaking at an NYPD awards ceremony Tuesday morning, Monahan addressed the incidents, according to the Post.

“Our detectives—and our detectives are the greatest in the world—are looking and we will identify who was involved, and arrests will be made,” Monahan said. “That is not acceptable to our men and women who are out there.”

Monahan said the officers in Harlem were responding to reports of a disorderly group when they saw a suspect with an outstanding warrant.

“As they’re making that arrest, there are a couple of guys who thought it was all right to throw water and a bucket at the cops,” he said. “Well, that ain’t all right.”

The officers called for backup and the group dispersed, according to the report.

Monahan said officers in the Brooklyn incident were walking away from a call when they were attacked with water.

He criticized the officer for walking away after being drenched.

“Any cop who thinks that that’s all right, that they can walk away from something like that, maybe should reconsider whether or not this is the profession for them,” Monahan said. “We don’t take that.”

Rudy Giuliani Blasts Mayor Over Drenchings

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani lashed out at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in connection with the water throwing incidents, with Giuliani predicting that the situation “will only get worse until these left-wing idiots are defeated.”

De Blasio has condemned the incidents as “completely unacceptable.”

“We won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect,” de Blasio added. “NYPD is investigating.”

Still, Giuliani believes de Blasio and his policies are to blame.

“This disrespect for the uniform in NYC is result of a Democrat-Progressive (Retrogressive)-Socialist Mayor,” Giuliani wrote on Twitter, adding, “This is what happens with knee-jerk disrespect for police.”

‘Torrent of Bad Policies’

New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick J. Lynch also had words of rebuke for the city’s leadership.

“Our anti-cop lawmakers have gotten their wish: the NYPD is now frozen,” Lynch said in a statement on Monday, July 22.

“It’s not the fault of these police officers,” Lynch said. “It’s the end result of the torrent of bad policies and anti-police rhetoric that has been streaming out of City Hall and Albany for years now.”

“We are approaching the point of no return,” Lynch warned. “Disorder controls the streets, and our elected leaders refuse to allow us to take them back. As police officers, we need to draw a line.”

The union president said officers cannot be expected to sit idly by as they face physical attacks.

“In situations like this, we need to take action to protect ourselves and the public,” Lynch said. “The politicians may not care about the dangerous levels of chaos in our neighborhoods, but police officers and decent New Yorkers should not be forced to suffer.”


Monahan denounced the attacks on the officers in a July 22 tweet: “The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in Harlem is reprehensible.”

The two incidents caught on video show on-duty officers breaking up unruly gatherings around open fire hydrants during a recent heatwave.

Police are seen in the footage being soaked themselves as onlookers jeer.

In one of the videos, someone could be seen throwing a bucket at an officer in the middle of an arrest, striking him in the head.

“Who does that in their right frame of mind?” one police source asked the New York Post. “People who believe there’s no consequences. There’s total anarchy out there.”

“Today it’s a bucket of water,” a department supervisor told the Post. “Tomorrow it could be a bucket of cement.”

NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said there would be consequences for targeting officers, saying, “Although the police department is working on building relationships with the community, there is a line that cannot be crossed.”

“Police officers have the difficult job of protecting their communities and will not be disrespected while doing so,” he added.

Monahan offered guidance to officers: “Use your discretion—make arrests when necessary—and know that you have our support and full confidence. Thank you for what you do day in and day out. Please stay safe.”

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'