Many arrestees at NYC college protests are not students: Officials

Some of the protesters who were at Columbia University and City College of New York were arraigned on Thursday.

City officials say many of the more than 280 people arrested are not students at the schools, but are agitators known to local law enforcement, like James Carlson, 40, of Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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FOX 5 was there for Carlson's arraignment on criminal mischief, arson and other charges. At one point, the judge and a court officer chastised him for disrespectful behavior during his arraignment.

John M. Mantel for Fox News Digital

Carlson was already on the NYPD's radar for an incident last month in Morningside Heights when a 22-year-old man was allegedly assaulted, his Israeli flag stolen from him, then set on fire.

Nonetheless, he was released on his own recognizance.

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"They're the ones who probably know the system the best, know exactly what will happen when they get to the police station, as well as what will happen through the arraignment process. Those facing repeated misconduct essentially are the ones who are sticking their nose up in the air the most to the justice system here in New York City," former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Andrew Cherkasky said.

Neither the NYPD nor the Mayor's Office would specify an exact number of so-called agitators. Nevertheless, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg made his first public comments on the arraignments at a separate event Wednesday.

"We will look carefully at each individual case on our docket and make decisions based on the facts and the law. That will include a thorough review of body cam footage, and interviews with witnesses," Bragg said.