NYPD: British soldiers assaulted off-duty NYC cop

NYPD: British soldiers assaulted off-duty NYC cop

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NEW YORK (AP) — Six British soldiers visiting New York have been charged with assault in a fight with an off-duty police officer outside a Manhattan bar, authorities said Tuesday.

The charges stem from an argument that began shortly after 4 a.m. Friday with the soldiers and the officer trading insults while mingling with women in front of the nightspot, police said.

A criminal complaint alleges the men — Ratu-losefo Yavala, Mosese Kurulala, Joeli Raduva, Filipe Vunisarati, Iliakini Raderua and Thomas Shute — punched the officer until he fell to the ground. When the officer tried to call 911, one of the men punched him again and took his cellphone, the complaint says.

The unidentified New York Police Department officer, who didn't have a gun, cut one of the soldiers on the arm while trying to defend himself with a small pocket knife, police said. He suffered a broken nose and a swollen jaw.

The names of defense attorneys were not immediately available.

The British Defense Ministry identified the six men as members of 1 Scots, but declined further comment. 1 Scots is an infantry battalion in the royal regiment of Scotland, based in Edinburgh.

The BBC reported the six are Fijian nationals who were in the United States on a rugby tour. The British Army continues to accept recruits from Fiji even though the island nation's membership in the Commonwealth was suspended in 2009.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, The Associated Press erroneously identified their military unit. They are members of 1 Scots, an infantry battalion, not Scots Guard.

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