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Yonkers police arrest 2 at migrant shelter; migrants claim mistreatment

Police said they responded after hotel staff called them about a man acting violently.

Jonathan Gordon

Apr 11, 2024, 1:53 AM

Updated 42 days ago

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Body camera footage released by the Yonkers Police Department Wednesday evening shows most of the encounter between a group of migrants and officers who responded to the Ramada Inn Tuesday afternoon.
Police said they responded after hotel staff called them about a man acting violently.
Officials released part of the 911 call where an unidentified man said, "A guy's over here unruly, he's getting very violent with everybody, he's throwing stuff at everybody. Send somebody here right away."
Police said the incident began after shelter staff searched the man's room. It's unclear why the room was searched.
Video shows police putting handcuffs on the man, identified as 35-year-old Arnal Kent, as they struggle to pull him out of the hotel. The video continues to show the arrest spilling out into the parking lot as a crowd of about a dozen people surround the officers, shouting and filming the situation.
The video shows a woman, who police identified as 24-year-old Yainilet Hernandez, blocking police from putting Kent into the back of the car.
Eventually, Kent is put into the back of a patrol car.
The video skips ahead and in that time, police claim they waited for the situation to calm down before attempting to arrest Hernandez. Police said Hernandez attempted to hit several officers as they arrested her for obstructing their arrest of Kent. The video showed several officers tackling her to the ground.
She is eventually put into the back of the car before the video ends.
Hernandez is still in jail and being held on bail. She was charged with assault, obstruction and resisting arrest.
Kent was charged with menacing, disorderly conduct, obstruction and resisting arrest. He was released and spoke with News 12 through a translator Wednesday night.
"They only saw me as the aggressor but not the other person," Kent said.
It's unclear how many times Yonkers police responded to calls at the Ramada Inn since New York City relocated 250 adults and children there last May.
But in separate instances, several people staying at the hotel claimed the staff in charge of running the shelter mistreated them for months. They said Tuesday's incident was the result of that boiling over.
One woman claimed staff stole money from her during a room check when she wasn't there.
"Somebody called me and said there were people inside, opened the door, and took my money. I work hard. When I came here I asked what happened. The people said I have to call New York City to bring back my things," the woman said.
The incident and response prompted mixed responses from the community with one man saying he supported how it was handled.
"If you're not paying the rent, your room should be allowed to be checked," said Yonkers resident Chris Banks.
News 12 reached out to the Ramada Inn and Westhab, the nonprofit overseeing the shelter's operations, for comment but didn't hear back from either.
A man who identified himself to News 12 as head of security with Westhab said no one was available to speak Wednesday night.


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