The NYPD ignored a federal request to surrender an undocumented Guyanese immigrant busted for assaulting his father, leaving the twisted suspect free to rape and kill a beloved 92-year-old Queens woman six weeks later, federal officials charged Tuesday.
Accused murderer Reeaz Khan, 21, remains jailed on Rikers Island in last week’s savage and deadly assault on Maria Fuertes as the helpless old woman scavenged for returnable bottles and cans to collect a few extra dollars.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they targeted Khan following the November attack on his dad with a broken coffee cup, only to get the cold shoulder because of the city’s sanctuary policies.
“Clearly the politicians care more about criminal illegal aliens than the citizens they are elected to serve and protect,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for ICE’s enforcement and removal operations. “It was a deadly choice to release a man on an active ICE detainer back on the streets, and now he faces new charges, including murder.”
The NYPD issued a statement refuting ICE’s version of what happened.
“Reeaz Khan was last arrested on November 27, 2019,” said NYPD spokesperson Sgt. Jessica McRorie. “At that time, the NYPD was not notified that there was an ICE detainer in regard to this individual.”
Khan was arrested on Nov. 27 by the NYPD for assault and criminal possession of a weapon after he went after his father with the ceramic mug, cutting his dad in the chest and the arm. ICE officials asserted that they quickly filed a detainer with city officials, asking for the surrender of the suspect for possible deportation.
But Khan was instead arraigned and released, leaving him on the snow-covered streets of Queens at the same time that Fuertes was walking through Richmond Hills shortly after midnight on Jan. 6. His own brother called police to identify Reeaz as the suspect after a video of the horrifying incident was released by police.
The sobbing, sniffling suspect denied any part in the elderly woman’s death during an exclusive Rikers Island interview with the Daily News.
“I’m crying about this too,” said the suspect in the heinous crimes. “I had a grandma that I took care of. I’d wipe her eyes, carry her, and take her to doctors appointments. I would never hurt an elderly woman.”
Decker said his agency filed a second detainer with the NYPD in hopes of taking Khan into custody following the murder arrest, adding that the suspect was an “unlawfully present Guyanese national” while taking a shot at city policy.
New York’s sanctuary status “repeatedly protects criminal aliens who show little regard for the laws of this nation,” said Decker.
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