NYPD

8 Suspects Now Held In Fatal Stabbing Of Bronx Teen

June 26, 2018 - 8:11 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Eight people have now been arrested and charged in connection with last week's deadly stabbing of a 15-year-old outside a bodega in the Bronx.

The Bronx District Attorney's office says six alleged gang members were taken into custody in Paterson. Jose Muniz, 21, of Paterson, Jose Taverez, 21, Manuel Rivera, 18, Danel Fernandez, 21, and Santiago Rodriguez, 24, of the Bronx were arrested along with Joniki Martinez, 24, of Freeport.

The six suspects all waived extradition in the murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, 15, and will be returned to the Bronx for their case to go through court.

Several of the defendants kept their heads bowed as they stood before the judge. All except defendant Daniel Fernandez needed an interpreter, as Judge Ernest Caposela asked if he wanted to forgo the hearing and return to New York, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

Cameras clicked away as each defendant appeared wearing a dark green prison jumpsuit.

Attorney Judy Fallon said social media has been very active.

“Their families are all being threatened,” Fallon said.

Another defendant, Kevin Alvarez, 19, of the Bronx, was arraigned Monday evening, and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, assault, and gang assault.

The Paterson defendants are all facing the same charges as Alvarez.

An eighth suspect was arrested Tuesday, police said.

That suspect was identified as Elvin Garcia, 23, and was arrested in the Bronx, as 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

The defendants are accused of dragging Lesandro out of a bodega on Bathgate Avenue and 183rd Street last Wednesday, and stabbing and slashing him with knives and machetes. Police say it was a case of mistaken identity and Lesandro was an innocent victim of the Dominican street gang known as the Trinitarios.

“We will not tolerate thugs on the streets of the Bronx, whether it’s Trinitarios or any other gang involved in behavior of this sort,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

Alvarez was to return to court on Friday, and a grand jury will be convened for a possible indictment. He is now being held without bail. Alvarez’s attorney did not request bail, but did request medical attention for unspecified reasons, and protective custody.

"We are working diligently to ensure that our client's constitutional rights are protected throughout this entire process," his attorney said.

Shea would not rule out further arrests, and credited the public’s help.

“The flurry of tips that were coming in required me to upstaff the people that were assigned, for example, to the Crime Stoppers,” Shea said. “There were that many tips coming in.”

He said the Trinitarios street gang was behind the murderous attack on Lesandro, and the repeated stabbing of a 14-year-old last Monday on the Bronx River Parkway.

On Monday at Lesandro's wake, lines of mourners filed into the Ortiz Funeral Home – some chanting, “Justice for Junior,” or, “No more gun violence."

His mother, Leandra Feliz, was asked how she wanted her son remembered.

“Like he was all the time – a sweet kid; lovely, kind, and good, and with very good heart,” she said.

“My heart is broke, it’s really broke,” said Lesandro’s father, Lissandro Guzman. “Thank you for everybody here.”

"He was only 15 years old, he was a baby you know, and I put myself in his mother's shoes because I have a son myself. It's heartbreaking, I'm shocked," one woman said.

Wake services continued Tuesday.

A funeral for Lesandro is planned for Wednesday.