Kevin Alvarez,[photo] seen at his arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court on Monday, June 25, 2018. He is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz
The reputed Trinitarios gang member seen dragging Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz from a bodega so the rest of the street crew could hack and stab the boy to death admitted on Thursday that he took part in the attack in an exclusive jailhouse interview.
Kevin Alvarez, 19, fessed up to being the guy in a black hat, white T-shirt and jeans seen on video surveillance pulling the 15-year-old from the Fordham Heights store with both hands, but says he didn’t know his buddies had machetes and knives and he didn’t think they would kill the boy.
It was more than a fight, though. Lesandro was buried Wednesday after eight men, including Alvarez, trapped him in the Cruz and Chiky Grocery, then ripped him from the store and stabbed him to death.
Alvarez, a Bronx native with a 3-year-old son, is denying membership of the blood-thirsty street gang.
He thought he was heading to a party with some guys he only recently started hanging out with, Alvarez claims. He knew they were Trinitarios, he even knew they were known to carry machetes, but says he wasn’t involved in the notorious Dominican gang.
Alvarez [center], was the first of eight suspects to be taken into custody. He was arrested the next day
Just that day he had landed a job as a construction laborer, tying rebar at union scale.
“I had just passed the interview before that night when everything happened,” he said. “It had benefits, 401K, paid holidays.”
He was driving to the party with some of the other suspects in the case when they saw Lesandro duck into the bodega from the street.
“Come on, we are just going to fight” he said he told the teenager as he pulled him out of the shop. The bodega owner told him to take him outside, he said.
The video shows the desperate kid gripping the door jamb for dear life as Alvarez pulls his shirt collar until he yanks him out onto the sidewalk.
Kevin Alvarez, admitted that he is the man in a black hat, white T-shirt and jeans seen on video surveillance pulling Guzman-Feliz from the Cruz and Chiky Grocery store, in the Bronx on June 20, to start the knifing spree
Immediately, a man comes into the video frame holding a machete, hacking at Lesandro as Alvarez drags him across the sidewalk.
By the time he decided that he wanted no part in the attack, it was already well underway.
“I didn’t know that,” he said. “I only saw [the knives] when I came out of the store. I backed up and put my arms up. I yelled at them to stop.”
Alvarez backs out of the frame and is not seen on the video again. He said he didn’t know the aspiring cop had died until a female friend let him know.
“I cried,” he said. “I was at work when she called me and I left.”
Alvarez was the first arrest in the attack. He retained an attorney then turned himself in to authorities on Monday.
Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Feliz, 15 years old, was stabbed to death by five men with machetes on June 20, 2018, in the Bronx. in what they now admit was a case of mistaken identity
“I made a mistake by being there,” he said. “I thought it was just going to be a fight.”
“I’ve never seen something like that before it was traumatic,” he added.
“I can’t sleep in here sometimes.”
Now he fears for his life. Authorities brought him to Rikers on Monday, but he was transferred because the other inmates threatened him, he said. A correction officer told him, “I’ll leave the door open ” he said, ostensibly, so other inmates could attack him.
“I was scared,” he said.
“I don’t get scared. I was in the military, but I was so scared. People think I’m a monster. They want me dead, they want me gone.”
Alvarez was charged with manslaughter, murder and gang assault. He said he had hopes for the future, but now he just wants to flee the country.