ALBANY – Documents filed in the cases of two Amsterdam men accused of injuring troopers on Empire State Plaza July 4 provide new details on the incident, including the troopers’ accounts of rushing to the scene as one suspect held a lit roman candle in the direction of the gathered crowd.
The documents also identify the two men charged as twin 18-year-old brothers Nadeem J. Carter-El and Nasser J. Carter-El, both of Amsterdam. A state police press release on the incident released Monday did not name either man.
One trooper suffered knee cuts and bruises, while the other suffered cuts and bruises to both a knee and elbow, according to allegations filed in court. Both were taken for evaluation to St. Peter’s Hospital.
Both Nadeem Carter-El and Nasser Carter-El face one count each of second-degree assault, a felony, and Nadeem Carter-El faces a misdemeanor reckless endangerment count for the initial fireworks allegations, according to the allegations.
The incident happened at about 9:20 p.m. July 4 on the plaza as the plaza’s large fireworks show was getting underway, authorities said. The plaza’s usual large crowd had gathered to watch the show.
Troopers on patrol at the plaza spotted what they described in a statement as fireworks being shot off in the direction of the crowd and vendors, according to statements filed in court.
Six other troopers, including troopers Chris Rich and John Rinaldi, then ran to the source of the illegal fireworks. Trooper John Rinaldi arrived first at the individual identified as Nadeem Carter-El.
“I ran through the crowd and grabbed the subject’s left hand … attempting to keep the fireworks shooting in the air,” Rinaldi’s statement reads. “The subject fought me which resulted in him firing the candle into the crowd which had small children and adults.”
Other fireworks continued to be shot off from the ground in the direction of several people, statements read.
As Rinaldi and other troopers then tried to take Nadeem Carter-El into custody, Nasser Carter-El joined in and swung at three troopers. Nasser Carter-El was quickly taken into custody, then Nadeem Carter-El was brought under control, the statement reads.
In all, Nadeem Carter-El faces one count of second-degree assault, a felony, and misdemeanor resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.
Nadeem Carter-El is specifically accused of causing Rich’s knee to hit the pavement, causing a cut and bruise, according to the allegations.
Nadeem Carter-El is also accused of lighting two roman candles, also described as “flashing thunder fireworks,” into the crowd, causing risk of serious injury to others.
Nasser Carter-El is accused of causing Rinaldi’s knee and elbow to hit the pavement, causing cuts and bruises to both, according to the allegations.
Both Nadeem Carter-El and Nasser Carter-El are described in paperwork as both having minor cuts on their heads, according to the paperwork filed in court. Paramedics responded, but the two are listed as refusing medical treatment.
State police did not name either Carter-El brother in Monday’s press release due to a policy of theirs to not name defendants under the age of 19 in most cases due to the potential of them gaining youthful offender status. Information on cases related to cases where individuals age 17 or 18 are charged with felonies remain open and available in the court system.
A third 18-year-old from Amsterdam was also charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. That individual’s name remained unavailable due to person’s age and the level of the charge.