WASHINGTON, DC (AP) — Two men have been arrested for their role in a violent altercation outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence during a recent visit to Washington by Turkey’s president, police said Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Police Department said in a brief statement that Sinan Narin had been arrested in Virginia on an aggravated assault charge. It said Eyup Yildirim had been arrested in New Jersey on charges of assault with significant bodily injury and aggravated assault.
The department released no further details about the men but said additional information would be available Thursday.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey confirmed that Yildirim made his first appearance before a judge there on Wednesday.
Narin and Yildirim were both participants in the protests, according to a U.S. official familiar with the case. On the day of the violence, police detained two members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail but released them shortly afterward. Two other men were arrested at the scene — one for aggravated assault and the other for assaulting a police officer.
The U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly to the matter and demanded anonymity, said DC police had identified 34 of 42 people who were involved in the fight, and are seeking their arrests. Police are expected to release photos of the other 8 possible suspects and appeal to the public for information on their identities, the official said.
The clash happened as Erdogan arrived at the ambassador’s residence after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on May 16.
Video of the protest showed security guards and some Erdogan supporters attacking a small group of protesters with their fists and feet. Men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. Another wrenched a woman’s neck and threw her to the ground. A man with a bullhorn was repeatedly kicked in the face.
After police officers struggled to protect the protesters and ordered the men in suits to retreat, several of the men dodged the officers and ran into the park to continue the attacks. In all, nine people were hurt.