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Migrants at Yonkers shelter arrested after confrontation with staff members

Migrants living at Yonkers shelter arrested after clash with staff
Migrants living at Yonkers shelter arrested after clash with staff 01:58

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Migrants living at an emergency shelter in Yonkers were arrested earlier this week after police say they were violent with staff members.

It comes after complaints of theft in their shelter rooms by security during random inspections.

Twenty-two-year-old Albany Ugarte is a mother of two from Venezuela who has been living at an emergency shelter in Yonkers since she arrived in New York in September.

"How are you feeling?" CBS New York's Jennifer Bisram asked.

"I feeling bad," Ugarte said.

She tells CBS New York during random room checks at the Ramada Inn on Tuckahoe Road, her money -- a total of $600 -- and electronics were stolen, and she's not the only one.

 Arnal Kent, a migrant from Venezuela also living at the shelter, was arrested Tuesday for disorderly conduct after a dispute between migrants and staff.

In a 911 call, someone tells the dispatcher, "There's a guy ... being unruly. He's being very violent with everybody. He's throwing stuff at everybody."

Police body cam video shows Kent pulling away from officers and a woman blocking the police car door. Police say at one point she attempted to strike officers. She too was arrested.

Kent says he acted out because he's fed up with his rights being violated.

"They enter our rooms without knocking. They enter, search through our personal belongings when we aren't there ... our money and jewelry," he said.

"The individuals that we're talking about and what's happening at the Ramada Inn appears to be limited to a few people who just frankly aren't happy with some of the rules," Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said.

Rules include no unsafe appliances, like hot pots, in the rooms.

Police say officers have responded to over 100 dispute calls at the shelter since last May when over 250 migrant families moved in. We're told no complaints of theft were made, but it's now being investigated.

"We're not dealing with crime, we're dealing with disputes. We're trying to obviously diffuse disputes. There's a couple people that aren't happy with certain situations, certain rules," Yonkers Det. Sgt. Frank DiDomizio said.

We reached out to Westhab, the organization that runs the shelter. We were told no comment at this time.

Police say there was an officer who suffered minor injuries during the arrests; he's expected to be OK.

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