Bronx, NY – A Bronx prosecutor deferred charges against a man caught on video putting a New York Police Department officer in a headlock (video below).
The cell phone video filmed by a bystander showed 29-year-old Wisnel Manzueta trying to interfere in an arrest that two NYPD officers were making on July 1 at Grand Concourse and Morris Avenue, the New York Daily News reported.
Police said Manzueta was part of a mob who was trying to stop the arrest of 31-year-old Franklin Adrian, who was resisting arrest in handcuffs and refused to be placed in the back of a police car.
Officers said Adrian became violent after he was given a ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant, FOX News reported.
The video showed that Manzueta got close to the officers multiple times and one of the officers turned and gave him a shove back and away from the arrest before he returned to helping his fellow officer try to control Adrian.
The officer also appeared to call for backup as Adrian struggled and worked his way around the police car with the other officer holding onto his arm, the video showed.
When the officers went to put him into the back of the vehicle again, he used the frame of the car to boost himself up, prompting the officers to yank him back to street level.
The officer went to the ground trying to control Adrian, and one of the officers’ bodycams was knocked to the pavement in the struggle.
The video captured Manzueta as he leaned in and kicked the bodycam away from the officers and down the street.
That’s when the officer who had faced off with Manzueta a moment before jumped up from the ground and went after the man who had kicked the bodycam, the video showed.
At first, the two men appeared to be evenly matched as they struggled hand-to-hand, and the officer managed to back Manzueta up against a dark-colored SUV parked on the street.
But then Manzueta got his arm around the officer’s neck and put him in a headlock, taking control of the altercation.
The officer struggled and the two men moved onto the sidewalk with the officer still in a headlock and Manzueta kept hanging on, the video showed.
The officer broke partially free by diving to the pavement but Manzueta continued to go after him until another bystander jumped in and pulled him off the police officer.
“Get out of here, now get out of here,” the man filming the fight yelled at Manzueta as he fled down the sidewalk and away from the fray.
The officer got back up and went back to help his fellow officer finish arresting Adrian while witnesses to the fight hurled insults at him and called him names, the video showed.
Manzueta was arrested and charged with assault one week after the incident, FOX News reported.
But the prosecutors deferred prosecution and let him go, claiming they needed to do more investigation.
NYPD sources told The Police Tribune that the Bronx district attorney is notoriously anti-police and has always been reluctant to charge assault on a police officer.
The source said the prosecutor had pointed to the moment in the video when the officer pushed Manzueta back to stop him from interfering in the arrest and claimed the officer had used force when it was wasn’t necessary and provoked the assault that occurred shortly thereafter.
Officers were furious about the message that the failure to charge sent into the community, the NYPD source told The Police Tribune.
“She basically said it’s okay to assault a police officer and the streets now know officers are fair game,” the source said. “All you have to do is get a cop to take action and you can do whatever you want. It’s absolutely crazy that they would say ‘oh, because of this we’re not going to prosecute’ when if it was a cop who did the same thing, they would be all over it saying it was a chokehold.”
“If the roles were reversed, the cop would be in a jail cell,” he added.
The source told The Police Tribune the move by the Bronx prosecutor was “really just a clear message that we shouldn’t do anything on the streets because if we get assaulted the DA is just going to say it was all in the course of business.”
An NYPD spokesman told FOX News the department was disappointed Manzueta had been released.
“The violence against the police officer speaks for itself. We are now in discussions with the district attorney regarding the case,” the spokesman said.
The city’s largest police union expressed outrage at the prosecutor’s actions and said “if the suspect is not charged, expect every interaction to be a violent one,” FOX News reported.
“We took this city back from the criminals and City Hall, and others have given it back to the perps on the street,” NYPD Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch told WCBS.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Violence and Obscene Language:
Feckless Bill de Blasio keeps tying up the hands of the NYPD, more and more.
I don't know why somebody would still join the Academy under this leadership.
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) July 12, 2020