Three Rochester NYPD Officers Hospitalized After Protesters Storm Police HQ

Three police officers were taken to hospital with injuries after protesters stormed the Rochester Police Department's headquarters, police said.

Demonstrators arrived at the city Public Safety Building in downtown Rochester, New York, on Tuesday evening to protest against the arrest of 50-year-old Nicholas Wilt, the Rochester Police Department said in a news release issued early on Wednesday.

Police have said that a bench warrant for Wilt's arrest was "erroneously issued."

During the protest, a group entered the building and at least one person assaulted a police sergeant and police officer with a weapon, according to police. Demonstrators said police had used pepper spray and beat up protesters, WROC reported.

"While inside the building, at least one of the protesters assaulted a Rochester Police Sergeant and another Officer with a weapon and he was subsequently arrested and charged with assault," police said in the news release.

That man, identified as 26-year-old Jordan Hughes, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault.

Rochester Police said the injured sergeant and officer were transported to hospital for treatment, along with a third officer who was also injured in the incident.

...was arrested for two counts of assault. The sergeant and officer along with a second officer were transported to a hospital to be treated for their injuries. #Roc @SPECNewsROC @mcfw pic.twitter.com/L2pQpif2m2

— Rich Healey (@r_heals13) October 14, 2020

Deputies with the Monroe Country Sheriff's Office had arrested Wilt on Tuesday afternoon during a protest outside the police headquarters in Webster, a town near Rochester.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's office told Newsweek that Wilt "kicked and threw traffic cones that were used as a barricade, causing a dangerous condition, and approached a Monroe County Sheriff's deputy." Wilt was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct.

Rochester Police said that during that arrest, it was discovered Wilt had an outstanding city court warrant for failing to appear before the court for a previous arrest in Rochester on September 12. Officers served the warrant and transferred Wilt to the Monroe County Jail.

It prompted the arrival of demonstrators at the Public Safety Building, who said Wilt was being held illegally, according to the local news station.

Early Wednesday, Rochester Police said that the warrant for Wilt's arrest had been issued by mistake.

Wilt had a court date for October 22 after his arrest last month, police said. "It appears the bench warrant was issued erroneously when Mr. Wilt failed to appear in court on September 22nd," Rochester Police said in the news release. "RPD will be working with Rochester City Court to determine how this error occurred, and to determine ways we can prevent future occurrences."

Police said Wilt's September 12 arrest was for unlawful assembly and resisting arrest.

That took place during a protest demanding justice for Daniel Prude, a Black man who died days after officers put a hood over his head and pressed his face into the pavement on March 23.

The release of police body camera footage of the encounter almost six months after his death triggered protests in Rochester and calls for police reform.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren last month tipped a Black woman to become the new interim city police chief after former police chief La'Ron Singletary was relieved of duty following the outcry sparked by the release of the video.

Prude's family has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Rochester and members of the police department involved with Prude's death, alleging a cover-up by city officials and members of the police force.

The Rochester Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.

This article has been updated with comments from the Monroe Country Sheriff's Office.

Rochester
Rochester Police officers stand outside of the city's Public Safety building during a protest on September 6, following the release of video of Daniel Prude's police encounter in Rochester, New York. Maranie R. Staab/AFP via Getty Images