Felony charges against seven people in New York 3:16

Editor's note:

This article corrects previous content that had inaccurate information. An earlier version said four of the suspects were believed to be headed to a California town near Mexico; That report was based on a February 1 interview with a senior law enforcement official. The official told CNN on February 14 that police now believe an individual who gave a tip had misidentified the men, and that investigators no longer believe the men fled on a bus.

(CNN) --

New York City police no longer believe that four of the suspects arrested and later released following an assault on NYPD officers in Times Square fled the city on a bus to California, they said a senior police official told CNN on Wednesday.

The same senior law enforcement official told CNN on February 1 that four of the suspects who had been arrested in the January assault of two NYPD officers received bus tickets from a religious charity. and were currently en route to Calexico, California.

The day after the release of four men arrested following the January attack, city officials received a tip from an individual who claimed that they had recognized the four men on television and that a religious charity — with which that person worked—had given them bus tickets, according to several law enforcement officials. The individual was later interviewed and identified the men from photographs, the senior law enforcement official said.

The NYPD asked Calexico police to visit an address provided by the charity, where police did not find anyone who recognized the subjects.

One of the individuals believed to have fled was later arrested in New York City on charges of robbery. That arrest and the investigation in Calexico led police to believe the tip was a mistaken identification.


The January altercation broke out after officers tried to break up a “group causing a disturbance” outside an immigrant shelter near Times Square, police said.

When officers attempted to detain a person, “several unidentified individuals repeatedly kicked and punched officers in the head and body” and then fled on foot, police said. The officers suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene, police said.

The incident comes after a surge in migrants and asylum seekers arriving at the US-Mexico border, many of whom headed to major cities on their own or on buses chartered by Texas. About 67,000 immigrants are in the care of New York City, among the more than 173,900 who have arrived in the city since spring 2022, a City Hall spokesperson told CNN earlier this month.

CNN's Chimaine Pouteau and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report, which has been updated with additional information.