16-year-old arrested as rioting continues in Old San Juan
By John McPhaul
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy Saturday night after an incident in which four police officers were injured during the third straight night of protests against LUMA Energy in Old San Juan.
According to the authorities, a group of protesters threw rocks and cobblestones at the officers. Two policemen were transported by ambulance for medical treatment after they were hit in the face and legs.
The 16-year-old was arrested after he crossed the perimeter and attacked the officers.
He resisted arrest and his actions sparked the riot, according to police, who contacted the parents of the minor to come to the place where he was detained.
Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa said regarding the rioting that his police officers were putting their safety on the line to keep the peace.
“Gentlemen, my police officers are also going without power,” the commissioner said at a press conference. “We are part of the people, part of Puerto Rico and we are providing a service to the citizens so that they can demonstrate.”
López Figueroa said the protesters who staged the violent incidents are the same ones who have participated in other activities with the intention of attacking police.
“This is a small group that went to San Lorenzo, who were in Rincón,” he said. “It is a group whose agenda is not the cause for which they are demonstrating. The agenda is to seek a protagonist’s role with the police, to attack the police, to be on the front page or have an audience.”
However, he said, although the individuals are known to the authorities, they cannot arrest them to prevent violent incidents.
López Figueroa also lamented the incident in which Noticel photojournalist Juan Costas was injured.
“At that time at 12:30 a.m. I contacted Juan by phone to find out how he was doing, to indicate the commitment of the police to the press and thank God he was fine,” he said.