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Man Sucker-Punches Officer, Breaks His Nose In Westchester: Police

Officials in a Westchester County city are calling for bail reform following the quick release of a man who was arrested for sucker punching an officer in his face and breaking his nose, police said.

Johnny McCray, age 39, is captured in police body camera footage released by Yonkers Police on social media.
Johnny McCray, age 39, is captured in police body camera footage released by Yonkers Police on social media. Photo Credit: Yonkers Police

Johnny McCray, age 39, was arrested on Wednesday night, Sept. 6 on assault charges after punching an officer in the face, according to Yonkers Police. 

On the night of the incident, police responded to Yonkers Avenue in the area of Cypress Street on reports of a man lying down on the sidewalk. There, arriving officers found a man identified as McCray, who they confirmed was still breathing. 

McCray was then taken into an ambulance for further treatment. However, he soon tried to leave the ambulance despite officers and medical staff's attempts to convince him to stay in the vehicle. 

While police were telling McCray to stay for treatment and to sit down, McCray then sucker-punched one of the officers in his face, breaking his nose, authorities said.

The officers at the scene then pulled McCray to the ground and handcuffed him. He was later charged with second-degree assault on a police officer, a felony, in addition to other charges, according to police. 

The incident was captured on body camera footage, which was released on social media. 

According to Yonkers Police, McCray was remanded to Westchester County Jail following the incident ahead of his bail application hearing. 

Although the Westchester District Attorney's Office requested a significant amount of bail, McCray instead convinced a Westchester County Court judge to release him by apologizing and mentioning an upcoming job interview, Yonkers Police added.

According to the department, McCray, who is currently on parole until 2027 for a 2017 attempted robbery conviction after serving most of his five-year sentence, has a record of 13 criminal convictions over 20 years, including six felonies. 

McCray's latest release prompted frustration from Yonkers officials, including Mayor Mike Spano. 

"This situation involving the assault on one of our Yonkers Police officers is the very definition of insanity," Spano said, adding, "The justice system is consistently bailing out criminal offenders." 

Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza also called for harsher punishments for offenders. 

"Every day, we ask our Police Officers to put their lives on the line to protect our community,"  Sapienza said, continuing, "All we ask is that the justice system stands up for our officers and all victims of crime with the punishments imposed in court." 

"Criminal acts cannot come without repercussions. If we continue to tell offenders that crime, especially violent crime, is not taken seriously by the decisions made in our courts, we can be sure that judges’ inaction and gentle approach to punishing repeat felons will severely undermine and limit the effectiveness of any crime-fighting strategy," Sapienza added. 

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