New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez was arrested -- and possibly roughed up -- early Tuesday morning when the NYPD raided Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan to break up the Occupy Wall Street encampment, according to a number of sources.
Rodríguez’s press secretary David Segal confirmed that the councilman was arrested, but could not say if he was in any way injured. Segal, however, heard from fellow Councilman Jumaane Williams that Rodriguez was bleeding from above one of his eyes.
Rodriguez arrived down at Zuccotti Park around 1:00 a.m. shortly after hearing reports that police had entered the park to shut down the encampment, Segal told Fox News Latino.
The NYPD said Rodriguez was arrested at Vesey St. and Broadway about 2 a.m. after pushing through a police perimeter. He allegedly pushed police officers, too.
He was detained for disorderly conduct, police said.
They said he did not suffer any injuries.
As of mid-morning Segal said that Rodriguez was being held at Manhattan’s central booking, but added that police had given no indication about when he would be released.
“Councilmember Rodriguez is currently in central booking, arrested while showing support for [Occupy Wall Street],” Rodriguez’s Twitter account said around 6:00 a.m..
Other elected officials came out in defense of Rodriguez.
“Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez is an outstanding public servant and a strong, thoughtful leader in Northern Manhattan. I am proud to continue my full support for Council Member Rodriguez because I know he is advocating for the 99% of New Yorkers who have been left behind in this economy," said State Sen. Adriano Espaillat.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez is a former teacher who was elected to the City Council in 2009. He represents the heavily Latino neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood and Washington Heights.
Since taking office, Rodriguez's social activism has landed him in hot water several times.
In May of last year, Rodriguez was among the 16 people arrested for protesting Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Earlier this month Rodriguez, along with New York State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, led an 11-mile march from Washington Heights to lower Manhattan in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press release that the park was raided by the police so that the city’s sanitation department could clean it and that the move was taken early in the morning to reduce the risk of confrontation as well as minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhood.
“Some have argued to allow the protestors to stay in the park indefinitely – others have suggested we just wait for winter and hope the cold weather drove the protestors away – but inaction was not an option,” Bloomberg said. “I could not wait for someone in the park to get killed or to injure another first responder before acting.
“Protestors have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments,” he added in the statement.