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(MAIL ONLINE) – A gangster has admitted dragging a 15-year-old boy out of a bodega in the Bronx so the rest of his crew could hack him to death – and says he now fears for his own life in prison.
Kevin Alvarez says he snatched Lesandro Guzman-Feliz so that his accomplices could brutally murder him – but has now given a whining interview to the New York Daily News denying responsibility, claiming he is scared for his life in prison and he ‘can’t sleep at night’.
Alvarez has admitted being the man in the black hat and white shirt who dragged Lesandro out of the store.
Lesandro collapsed and died while running to a nearby hospital after being stabbed and slashed in the neck with a machete by eight assailants on June 20.
All eight suspects – who authorities say are members of the Trinitarios gang – arrested in the case are facing murder, manslaughter and gang assault charges.
In the jail house interview with the Daily News, Alvarez revealed he had to be transferred from Rikers Island because he was being threatened by other inmates.
He said a corrections officer said he would leave the door open so he could be attacked and he’s left unable to sleep at night.
‘I was scared. 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,’ Alvarez said.
He insisted that he wasn’t aware that his crew were armed with knives and machetes and thought the plan was just to fight.
‘I thought it was just going to be a fight when I came out the store and I turned around and saw the machetes,’ he said.
‘Come on, we are just going to fight,’ he claims he told Lesandro before the bodega owner told him to take it outside.
But by the time he realized what was happening and yelled at the others to stop, it was too late.
He was seen backing out of the surveillance video and isn’t seen again.
Alvarez said he only found out Lesandro had died when a female friend called to tell him.
He was the first one arrested in the case after he called a lawyer and turned himself in.
He said he knew his accomplices were members of the Trinitarios, but claimed he wasn’t involved with the notorious Dominican gang based in New York.
That day, Alvarez – a father to a three-year-old boy – said he had secured a job as a construction labourer with benefits, a 401K and paid holidays.
Alvarez said he only recently started hanging out with them and thought they were all going to a party that night.
He said he had made a ‘mistake’ by being at the scene and is so traumatized by what he saw that he’s unable to sleep.
His interview comes after thousands of mourners said farewell to Lesandro at a funeral held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the Bronx.
‘We are gathered here in shock, silence and pain,’ the Rev. David Guzman said in Spanish. ‘Today, a shadow of sadness covers us, Lesandro’s family, the Bronx, but also New York City and the whole world.’
The funeral ended with a crowd of several hundred outside the church chanting ‘Justice for Junior!’ as pallbearers dressed in Yankees jerseys loaded his casket into a hearse.
‘I need justice for my son. That’s my junior, my little baby and that not happen anymore with any other kid,’ Lesandro’s mother, Leandra Feliz, told reporters two days before his funeral.
‘My heart is broken,’ said his father Lesandro Guzman, who has tattooed a picture of his son’s face onto the back of his hand as a permanent memorial.
Authorities said Guzman-Feliz, who dreamed of becoming a police officer and was a member of the NYPD’s Explorers program, may have been mistakenly targeted by the gang.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wants find a way to honor his memory by naming part of the Explorers program after him.
‘We want the next generation of young people who want to serve in the police to know about the young man who didn’t’ get a chance to, and be inspired by him,’ de Blasio said during ‘Inside City Hall,’ a live broadcast on NY1.
The attack sparked outrage about the scourge of gang violence in the Bronx, unfair stereotyping of young Hispanic men, distrust in police and why seemingly no one helped him.
It devastated his parents and those who knew him, rocked the community to the core and prompted celebrities such as superstar Rihanna and rapper Cardi B to join the calls of justice.
He was stabbed in the neck a minute from his apartment, before being forced to run – alone – to St Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police have cast blame on the Trinitarios, who were purportedly looking for a man who made a sex tape with one of their relatives, mistaking that man for Lesandro.
‘We will leave literally no stone unturned,’ Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea has promised.
‘We will not tolerate thugs on the streets of the Bronx.’
But the NYPD is also investigating why two of its officers did not offer any aid to Lesandro as he bled to death on the sidewalk.