SOUNDVIEW, the Bronx — Pedro Hernandez proclaimed his innocence to PIX11 News Tuesday, saying he's actually the victim in the situation, after being arrested Sunday for a robbery and slashing.
"I was approached and attacked. I'm innocent. I'm a victim and the truth will prevail," Hernandez told PIX11's Nicole Johnson in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Hernandez, 19, says he was the one slashed and stabbed by a group of men and that surveillance footage will prove his innocence.
The teen, who became the face of bail reform in 2017 after he remained in jail for a year instead of taking a plea deal for an attempted murder he didn’t commit in 2016, was arrested Sunday for what police called
Police said Hernandez and three unidentified men walked up to two men who were waiting for a cab on Quimby Avenue around 7 a.m. Sunday.
According to officials, Hernandez allegedly pulled out a knife and swung it at the victims.
One of the victims threw a sweater at Hernandez and his companions, then ran away, an NYPD spokeswoman said. That's when two of the men with Hernandez chased the victim, with one attacking him with a baseball bat. The other assailant punched and kicked the victim. The took a black Gucci watch from the victim, according to police.
Meanwhile, Hernandez struggled with the second victim who had not run away. The victim managed to pull a knife away from the teen, but not before suffering a slash wound to the face and another to the shoulder, officials said. He needed 15 stitches.
As of Monday, only Hernandez had been arrested thus far. He was charged with robbery, assault, menacing, petit larceny, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief.
Hernandez is out of jail Tuesday after posting $15,000 bail, officials said.
Bronx Defenders attorney Julia Deutsch, who is representing the teen in this case, shared Hernandez' side of the story with PIX11.
"Yesterday Pedro Hernandez was attacked. He was stabbed in the back and his faced was slashed. He was seeking medical attention at a hospital when the police arrived, arrested, and forcibly removed him from the hospital," Deutsch said. " Mr. Hernandez has been a target of the NYPD. He has been subjected to harassment and false charges. The details of this case will come out and the truth will prevail. Mr. Hernandez is still in need of medical attention that was denied by the NYPD and he is seeking that now."
Cop-turned-private investigator Manuel Gomez, who has worked with Hernandez for years, defended the teen to PIX11 and said the NYPD arrested the wrong man, again.
"There's video evidence showing the complete opposite. He is the victim," Gomez said.
PIX11 tried to see the footage Gomez referred to, but he had to serve the bodega owner a subpoena to obtain it.
"The video shows Pedro being attacked," Gomez said, adding he believes with the new video evidence, all charges against Hernandez will be dropped.