US immigration agents forced to call backup as residents attempt to stop arrest of Guyanese man
(New York Daily News) More than 30 angry Queens residents tried to stop federal immigration agents on Tuesday from arresting a neighborhood construction worker accused of burglary and illegally reentering the country.
Residents demanded to know why Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials had swooped in to arrest Hardat (Ryan) Sampat, 35, near 101st Ave. and 112th St. in Richmond Hill about 10 a.m.
The Guyanese native was driving away from his family’s home on 112th St. when federal agents in unmarked cars boxed him in with their vehicles and took him into custody, witnesses said.
Police had arrested Sampat for two separate burglaries on April 10 and May 9, according to court records.
He was on his way to Queens Criminal Court Tuesday for a scheduled court appearance when ICE agents grabbed him on an arrest warrant, neighbors said.
His worried sister kneeled before the ICE agents and prayed as they brought him to an awaiting car.
“(She asked) Why me? Why me?” said family friend Melissa Rivera, 22. “They didn’t even look her way. They didn’t care. This is what Trump is doing. It’s not fair to do to the people.”
Facing the growing crowd, ICE agents called for backup. NYPD cops were diverted to the corner for crowd control but no additional arrests were made, officials said.
ICE agents took Sampat to Manhattan Federal Court for processing.
He had been deported about five years ago but allegedly came back to the U.S. illegally to be with his family.
Rivera said Sampat wanted his day in court, since he had proof that he was in Florida when one of the burglaries took place.
“It’s messed up because he was on his way to prove his innocence about the burglary and then he gets arrested before he can,” Rivera said. “His family had been through this before with him and now it’s happening again.”
“He’s a loving father, uncle, son,” she said. “It’s not right. They just took him from his family.”