Diego Ibanez, the 26-year-old activist who splattered Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and his security detail on Monday, will be able to leave jail if he can come up with a $30,000 bond or $20,000 in cash for bail.
At his arraignment shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Mercer said that Ibanez threw the “unknown red liquid” at Bratton and his crew “not once but twice.”
“Bratton was reviewing the situation and making sure everything was in control and safe,” said Mercer. He added that two police officers got irritated eyes from being “struck by this liquid, and had to go to the hospital.”
“It did, in fact, injure two people,” said Mercer. “And it could have injured more.”
Ibanez has been charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment, six counts of obstructing governmental administration, six counts of third-degree criminal mischief, and two counts of second-degree assault.
He’s also apparently responsible for a hefty dry-cleaning bill.
“I am informed that…the red liquid did stain the suit of Police Commissioner William Bratton, causing over $250 in damage,” along with monetary damage for five other stained outfits, Mercer wrote in a criminal complaint.
Ibanez’s defense lawyer, Eliza Orlins, though, said there was “absolutely no reason why such an exorbitant bail is required” to make Ibanez return to court on November 28.
“He is truly a member of this community,” said Orlins. She pointed to Ibanez’s involvement with La Union, a Sunset Park organization that runs a summer camp and a community farm, and his work with a nonprofit called WORCS that helps people in Rockaway start worker-owned co-ops. Ibanez also works with kids at an after-school program at P.S.94 in Brooklyn.
Originally from Bolivia, the activist has also lived in Utah and “advocated for immigrant rights” in Arizona and Alabama, according to a bio on the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. He has been charged in New York before, for “criminal trespassing” during an Occupy Wall Street hunger strike. He received a sentence of seven days’ community service and a court surcharge, which he paid in full, his lawyer said.
She added that Ibanez should be allowed out based on his history: “He has every reason to return to this court, which he intends to do.”
Several of Ibanez’s family members and friends turned out to show their support for him and express their displeasure with the criminal justice system that he was protesting against.
Ibanez’s sister sported a shirt that said “Stop Gangster Cops.” A friend was later booted from the courtroom for snapping her fingers in support of Ibanez.
Tate Harmon, a documentary filmmaker and close friend of Ibanez, said he’s confident the money can be raised to post bail.
“It sucks that he’s still in jail, but that’s not an insurmountable feat to get that money raised,” Harmon said. “I’m confident we’ll get him out soon.”
Despite the show of support from family and friends, not everyone in the activist community was thrilled with Ibanez’s stunt.
“I don’t glamorize what he did,” said Jason del Aguila, another Sunset Park activist, who is familiar with Ibanez. “We don’t want to provoke the police to do the violence they perform in our communities every day.”
*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized Jason del Aguila as a friend of Ibanez. The two have had limited interactions.