25 years later, fugitive returns to NYC, gets arrested for 1992 attempted murder

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK  — A man who fled the country 25 years ago while facing a prison sentence for attempted murder was arrested when he arrived at a New York City airport.

The Daily News reports Freddy Guerra was taken into custody on Tuesday night at Kennedy Airport. He had been living in the Dominican Republic and working as a mechanic.

Authorities said Guerra was 18 when he and two friends shot the owner of Willie’s Hardware and Building Supply Store in Queens on Sept. 16, 1992, stealing cash and spray paint cans. The owner, Lieb Zaban, survived being shot in the chin.

Police arrested Guerra a month later and charged him with attempted murder.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in December 1992 and was freed on $50,000 bond. He skipped a February 1993 court date and was later sentenced in absentia to six to 18 years of prison time.

Guerra was in custody at Rikers Island and is awaiting a June court date.

Zaban died in 2015 at the age of 91 and had sold the store some years after the robbery. His widow, Lea Zaban, who now lives in Pennsylvania, said, “That’s good. That’s good,” when told of Guerra’s arrest.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.