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5 suspects in Times Square assault on NYPD officers held at Rikers Island after court appearances

5 arrested in Times Square attack on officers appear in court
5 arrested in Times Square attack on officers appear in court 02:27

NEW YORK -- Five suspects accused of attacking two NYPD officers in Times Square appeared in court Friday and will be held at Rikers Island. 

One by one, the suspects allegedly involved in the Jan. 27 attack were arraigned in a Manhattan criminal courtroom. 

Yorman Reveron, 24, Yohenry Brito, 24, Kelvin Arocha, 19, Wilson Juarez, 21, and Darwin Gomez-Izquiel, 19, all pleaded not guilty through a translator. 

Members of the Police Benevolent Association sat in the front row. 

"We want to make it clear, New York City police officers are not going to be punching bags on the streets of the city of New York," said PBA President Patrick Hendry. 

All of the suspects, except Juarez, were charged with second degree assault. 

Juarez was charged with tampering with evidence. Prosecutors said he did not have contact with the officers, but did try to change outfits and discard clothing from those who did. 

Juarez and Arocha are facing deportation after they were picked up by immigration officers in the Bronx in February. Authorities believe they may be connected to a Venezuelan gang. 

Police also rearrested Gomez-Izquiel earlier in the week for alleged shoplifting in Queens. His defense attorney tried to convince the judge to allow supervised released, but was denied. 

Brito, who officials said sparked the assault, was being held at Rikers and was released after a Brooklyn pastor posted his bail. He arrived at court with immigration advocates, but was remanded by the judge on an additional $15,000 bail.

A hearing was also ordered to discuss where the bail money came from. 

Police said the suspects are all part of the group seen on surveillance video kicking and punching two police officers outside a migrant shelter.

"Our criminal justice system needs to send a clear and consistent message. If you assault a New York City police officer, you will be put behind bars for a long, long time," said Hendry. 

Three other suspects in the attack were not in court Friday. Two were arraigned earlier in the week and charges against the other are pending. 

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