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Yonkers Police Anatomy of an Arrest

We are subjected to short briefingss on crime in Yonkers on a daily basis. The nature of news does not allow for a lengthy description of the incidents. 

On June 7, 2019, an incident occured on Oak Street in downtown Yonkers which led to an arrest.  Facebook discussions varied from praise for police to condemnation. In response. YPD issued a lengthy statement. The detailed description of the incident is a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a criminal act and it's resolution. YPD wrote the following.

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Jonathan De La Cruz (18) was observed operating a motorcycle with no license plate on the sidewalk several times and at an active fire scene in the area of Chestnut Streets and Oak Streets. Officers stopped him to issue summonses, at which time it was confirmed that the motorcycle was unregistered, uninsured, and De La Cruz only possessed an out-of-class permit; he also was not wearing a helmet. As officers were issuing summonses and impounding the illegal motorcycle, a large crowd gathered including family members of De La Cruz. After De La Cruz was issued the summonses, he entered the active intersection and started shouting obscenities at the officers, further escalating the situation; officers warned De La Cruz and ordered him back to the sidewalk and to clear the intersection or be subject to arrest, and De La Cruz refused at which point he was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. While officers were placing him into custody, De La Cruz attempted to flee and resisted against the officers attempts to place him into handcuffs, resulting in a struggle between police and De La Cruz - he was eventually placed into custody with the use of minimal force. At the same time, his mother, Fanny Garcia (36), ignored police commands and pushed past officers and interfered with the arrest of her son, resulting in her own arrest for obstruction charges; she was also found to have a small quantity of marijuana on her person. While at the jail, De La Cruz complained of pain and was taken to a local area hospital where he was give ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin) and discharged.

Several additional points to be included: this situation, like most disorderly conduct and obstruction arrests, stems from a sequence of events that could have been terminated at any time by the arrested parties. De La Cruz made the decision to drive an illegal motorcycle in an unsafe manner on a public sidewalk; bear in mind, it was around 6:45 PM and there many pedestrians out; De La Cruz further did so at an active fire scene where the police were there to assist. When stopped by the police, De La Cruz did not respond with deference to their authority, instead he chose belligerence which further agitated the gathering crowd. When he was issued the summons and informed the illegal motorcycle was being impounded, De La Cruz made the decision to enter a public roadway and began shouting obscenities at the officers, engaging in further illegal behavior that made him subject to arrest. If De La Cruz wanted to fight the tickets, the appropriate forum would be traffic court, not the corner of Chestnut and Oak Streets in an exhibition for the crowd. De La Cruz refused police commands to cease and desist, and he then he refused to stop his resistance when being placed under arrest. Ms. Garcia additionally made the decision to interfere with arresting officers herself and was placed under arrest. Any time there is a use of force incident in the Yonkers Police Department, it automatically triggers an internal supervisory review, which will happen in this case.

If you disagree with the police, there are forums to have your grievances heard: traffic court, criminal court, file a complaint, etc. Disorderly and criminal behavior will only make you subject to arrest and add additional charges. Finally, having done multiple surveys on the topic, we know that quality of life issues, especially the reckless operation of vehicles and motorcycles, is a top complaint in this City which residents have communicated to us they want enforced. De La Cruz could have taken his tickets and gone home, but he chose not to.

 

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