NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three fur sellers have been charged with reckless endangerment after they tossed bleach and ammonia from a Manhattan roof onto animal-rights activists below, prosecutors said.
Lawrence Andrews, 35, Luis Justino, 40, and David Haber, 53, were also charged with harassment and criminal mischief. According to a criminal complaint, the three men went to the top of a six-story building and dumped bleach at an anti-fur protest happening on Broadway near Spring Street on Dec. 20.
The bleach rained down on the heads of protesters, pedestrians, the vendors’ furs and two baby strollers, though police said the children were unharmed, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.
“You bleached a baby!” one person can be heard yelling in video of the incident.
A video posted to YouTube — shot and edited by the anti-fur activists — shows liquid raining from above while passersby, including a man carrying a toddler, run for cover.
“We were just kind of looking at the cameras hoping that someone got it on camera,” said anti-fur protester Robert Banks. “Luckily for us they did, because they could have blamed it on us.”
Two of the men were caught inside the building with garbage bags reeking of cleaning fluid, police said.
A criminal complaint cites a police officer saying “The defendant…stated in substance to me that the defendant…told him to go onto the roof and throw bleach and ammonia at protesters.”
The men were arrested, released and told to appear in court on Jan. 26.
An attorney for one of the suspects said his client absolutely denies any involvement in the incident, Langford reported.
Another defendant, Haber, told CBS2 he believes it was a setup.
“Why would we throw bleach on our own merchandise, on our own vendor, and on innocent people in the street?” Haber said.
“It’s pretty obvious who the troublemakers are,” Banks said.
No one was injured, the New York Post reported.
One anti-fur protester was arrested on a misdemeanor charge at the same location recently after one of the fur vendors reported being assaulted, CBS 2 reported.
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