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Six defendants arraigned for attacking police officers in front of LIC migrant shelter last month: DA

Cristian Taipe of Astoria and Natali Iza were among the six adults who attacked police officers in front of a Long Island City migrant shelter last month while they were checking on children who were riding bikes before dawn. Photos courtesy of the NYPD

July 10, 2024 By Bill Parry

A Queens grand jury has indicted six individuals on charges of attempted gang assault and related crimes for attacking police officers who were checking on the welfare of three unattended children riding bikes before dawn outside a Long Island City migrant shelter last month.

The cops from the 114th Precinct in Astoria saw the kids riding bikes at around 4:20 a.m. on June 17. They were doing a safety check on them when they were attacked by the six adults in front of the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel, located at 38-70 12th St., which was converted into a shelter for migrants in February 2023.

The Wingate by Wyndham Hotel on 12th Street in Long Island City was converted into a shelter for migrants in February 2023. Photo via Google Maps

Juan Munoz, 25, Alejandro Munoz, 42, and Karina Navarro-Chavez, 42, all of 10th Street in Long Island City; Miguel Chiluisa, 23, of Roosevelt Avenue in Corona; Cristian Taipe, 30, of 36th Avenue in Astoria; and Natali Iza, 27, whose address is unknown, were arraigned on the indictment charging them with attempted assault and attempted gang assault, endangering the welfare of a child and rioting.

According to the charges, the officers followed the children and approached the defendants, who were standing nearby. Iza began yelling at them while pushing and striking one of the cops while the other adults surrounded him. 

Chiluisa allegedly picked up a children’s bicycle and threw the bike at an officer, striking the officer on the body, while Navarro-Chavez allegedly struck the officer on the back of the head with an unknown object.

Iza struck another officer with a children’s bicycle while the group began to punch, shove and kick the officers. Chiluisa then ran across the street while handcuffed and fled in an unknown direction.

Chiluisa was observed by another officer inside of the 21st Street-Queensbridge subway station at approximately 5:16 a.m. and was placed under arrest. The defendant had a broken handcuff around one of his hands.

The injured officers were transported to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where they were listed in stable condition.

“Two police officers, who were checking on the welfare of unattended children at 4:20 a.m., were allegedly surrounded and punched and kicked by a group of adults outside a Long Island City hotel,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “My office will vigorously prosecute those who harm members of law enforcement, and we will hold these defendants responsible for their alleged actions.”

Chiluisa is also charged with escape, and both he and Iza are also charged with criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted of the top count, the defendants face up to 15 years in prison. They were ordered to return to court on Aug. 13.

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