All three UAlbany students plead not-guilty to charges on CDTA bus

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The three UAlbany students who claimed they were the victims of a racial attack on an Albany city bus were in court on Monday.

Ariel Agudio, Alexis Briggs and Asha Burwell made claims they were the victims of a racial attack on a CDTA bus in the early morning of January 30.

However, police determined the women were the actual aggressors in the incident. All three have since been charged with Assault, and Agudio and Burwell were additionally charged with Falsely Reporting an Incident.

The three women arrived at Albany City Court with their lawyers and family members. They remained mostly silent inside and outside the courtroom.

Days after the alleged attack, Burwell stood in front of a crowd at a rally on the UAlbany campus and gave a tearful speech. After she was formally charged Monday morning, NEWS10 ABC asked Burwell what she had to say to her supporters now. She had nothing to say.

Three UAlbany students

Burwell was called to the stand first. Her attorney said she pleaded not-guilty to charges of Assault in the Third degree, Harassment in the Second Degree and Falsely Reporting an Incident, all misdemeanors.

The judge said bail was not appropriate because of her lack of criminal history. Her attorney said there was no reason to believe that shewould not return to court for future appearances.

She was then released, and the judge gave her a 9 p.m. curfew while residing at her parents’ downstate home. The judge said she is allowed to go out beyond 9 p.m. for work purposes only.

Briggs was called to the stand next. She was charged with Assault in the Third Degree. Her attorney entered a not-guilty plea.

Agudio’s attorney, Mark Mishler, also entered a not-guilty plea to charges of Assault and Filing a False Report. Mishler said Agudio has not been in trouble in the past and is still currently a UAlbany student.

A local group wrote a letter to the women supporting them.

A young man who can be seen in security video from the night of the incident on the CDTA bus said he was punched and shoved.

“It was pretty catastrophic what happened,” he said. “I can’t go much further into it than that, but it was pretty crazy.”

Police said he was hit by Agudio who was mad over him recording her with his cellphone.

“Do you think this was a racially motivated attack?” NEWS10 ABC reporter Anya Tucker asked him.

“No I really don’t,” he responded.

“What do you think should happen to these women?” Anya asked.

“That’s not up to me,” he said.

The judge set their conference date for 11 a.m. on March 29. It remains unclear what started the initial fight.

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