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6 British soldiers accused of attacking NYPD cop

By Elizabeth Landers, CNN
updated 4:33 PM EDT, Mon September 2, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Six British soldiers were arrested after a fight outside a Manhattan bar
  • An NYPD officer suffered lacerations and bruising to the face
  • The soldiers are Fiji nationals who serve in the 1st Scots Guard of the British Army

New York (CNN) -- Six British soldiers who have been charged with assaulting an off-duty New York City police officer are expected to appear in court this week, according to a police spokesman.

The six soldiers were arrested early Friday morning after the 30-year-old police officer was injured outside a bar in Manhattan's Murray Hill neighborhood, said New York Police Department spokesman Sgt. Thomas Antonetti. A verbal altercation quickly escalated into a physical fight, he said.

The cause is still unclear, he added.

All of the soldiers are Fiji nationals who serve in the 1st Scots Guard of the British Army, according to Antonetti. The group was visiting New York City for a battalion rugby match.

The men are identified as Iosefo Yavala, Iliakini Raderua, Thomas Shute, Felite Vunisarati, Mosese Kuruala, and Joeli Raduva according to NYPD.

The NYPD officer, 30, and a friend, 26, suffered lacerations and bruising to the face and head. They were taken to a hospital where they were treated and released, Antonetti said.

All six British soldiers were charged with third-degree assault, Antonetti said. One of the men was also charged with robbery, accused of trying to steal the NYPD officer's cell phone, he said.

The British Ministry of Defence released a statement to CNN saying it is "aware of an incident in New York involving some British Army soldiers. This is a matter for the NYPD and it would be inappropriate to comment while there is an ongoing investigation. All those who are found to fall short of the Army's high standards will face disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, if appropriate."

Three of the men will appear in a New York District Court on Tuesday, according to public records from the New York Criminal Court.

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