NEW YORK (PIX11) – A man who became the face of the movement to change bail laws in New York several years ago has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Manhattan, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said on Monday.
Pedro Hernandez, 22, was charged with attempted murder, attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and reckless endangerment. He’s accused in a shooting that happened on 50th Street near Fifth Avenue near St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Aug. 28, according to Sewell. Police said at the time of the shooting that it stemmed from a dispute over a game of three-card monte. No injuries were reported to authorities.
Hernandez has been arrested several times since his release from Rikers in July 2017, after he chose to remain in jail rather than take a plea deal for an attempted murder he didn’t commit.
In July 2019, police said he was wanted for endangering children after allegedly throwing a glass bottle at the front passenger side window of a minivan. Several months earlier, he was arrested in connection with a robbery and slashing, according to police.
When he was a teenager, Hernandez became the focus of criminal justice activists’ push for bail reform after he spent a year in jail because he couldn’t post bail in a 2015 shooting case. Hernandez maintained his innocence and refused a plea deal that would have released him from lockup in Rikers.
Hernandez’s $250,000 bond was reduced to $105,000 after a bail reform advocacy group got involved. The organization posted his bond and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office later moved to dismiss the charges because a witness became uncooperative.
This story comprises reporting from PIX11’s Aliza Chasan and James Ford.