By Vandana Rambaran
Published July 26, 2019
The New York City Police Department has arrested a fourth person in connection with a string of water dousing incidents against uniformed officers in the Bronx earlier in the week.
Robert Perez, 24, was arrested on Thursday night and charged with criminal mischief, harassment, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct after a viral video surfaced on Wednesday of him dousing two female officers with water. Police also believe Perez was involved in another similar incident in the Bronx on Thursday.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted footage of Wednesday's incident proclaiming "NYPD Cops are in DANGER!" and slammed NYPD Police Chief Terence Monahan, asking "where's the Arrest".
"No more tough talking, stop blaming the cops if you can't handle the job perhaps you and O'Neil should find new work!" the SBA said, taking aim at Police Commissioner James O'Neill, as well.
“Any cop who thinks that’s all right, that they can walk away from something like that, maybe they should reconsider whether or not this is the profession for them,” Monahan said Tuesday in response to videos of cops walking away from water assaults in the streets.
Both Monahan and O'Neill were appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has come under harsh criticism from police officers, who in the past turned their backs on him over his unwillingness to defend officers against criticism by Black Lives Matter advocates. President Trump called de Blasio a "horrible mayor" and demanded he “act immediately” in response to the water dousing incidents.
Police are still searching for additional suspects involved in a separate incident in Harlem in which a person threw a red bucket filled with water that hit an officer in the head on Sunday. The NYPD released photos of several suspects they believe were involved in the incident.
Police also arrested a gang member who is believed to be the perpetrator of yet another incident in Brooklyn where a viral video showed a uniformed NYPD officer being doused with water as officers walked on the street. The man approached one and poured a bucket of water directly over his head. The officers seemed to purposefully ignore the attack.
New York City councilmembers urged the District Attorney's office to enforce harsher punishments on those who attacked police.
"The people who are responsible for these crimes, they need to be prosecuted, they need to be held accountable, and yes, they need to be charged with a felony," New York City Council Member Eric Ulrich said at a press conference on Tuesday.