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Students arrested for alleged property damage, aggression during San Juan protest

By on April 23, 2017

SAN JUAN — At least two students from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus were arrested Sunday during a demonstration in front of the Capitol.

Joshua Ramos and Adriana Quiles were taken into custody by officers from the San Juan Drug Division, headed by Lt. Iván Bahr, after they allegedly damaged unidentified property in the Capitol and tried to flee the scene.

Lt. Jessica Morales, of the San Juan Crime Investigation Center (CIC), both suspects were identified with pictures by officers from the San Juan Drug Division, whom the students attacked with pepper spray. The officers were wearing civilian clothing.

Morales said that  even though the agents who carried out the arrests were not in uniform, they were wearing their badges. However, the officers don’t appear to be wearing visible identification in video and pictures shared on social media.

When asked why undercover officers from an investigative division were in charge of the arrests, Morales said the police had prepared a plan that includes several divisions, including Traffic, Explosives, Drugs, the CIC and K9, among others. Moreover, sources with knowledge of police said the alleged work plan was made with the Auxiliary Superintendency of Criminal Investigations (SAIC by its Spanish acronym), “taking advantage of the fact that drug [enforcement] agents do not wear identification.”

Morales said these cases will be referred to the San Juan Prosecutor’s Office, but at least one of the arrested protesters, Quiles, was released about two hours after she was transferred to police headquarters. Caribbean Business learned she was cited to the U.S. District Court in San Juan one hour after she was released.

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