New York Daily News
The Bronx teen who turned himself in for shooting and killing a man in May was able to stay on the street with three prior gun arrests.
Alberto Ramirez was charged with manslaughter and illegal weapons possession Wednesday for gunning down 34-year-old dad Eric Velasquez on May 16 outside a building on E. 184th St. and Marion Ave. in Fordham Heights.
Police sources said Velasquez was an innocent bystander caught in the middle of a gang war between the 183/Young Gunnaz or YG, linked to Ramirez, and the Slattery set, which has territory including the block where the fatal shooting took place.
A dice game at the scene was allegedly a pretext for Ramirez, 16, and a second suspect to walk up and open fire, known in gang parlance as “spinning the block.” A gang can show its dominance through shootings.
Velazquez was not involved in the dice game, police said.
The Velasquez killing is Ramirez’s the fourth gun related collar since the fall.
On Oct. 21, just 16 days after his 16th birthday, Ramirez was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm. Police sources said he fired a shot through a wall an apartment wall and a search turned up three guns. Detectives think Ramirez may have dropped the gun and it went off.
That case was referred to Family Court because of Ramirez’s age.
Then, on Dec. 12, he was busted with a loaded and defaced .25-caliber pistol and charged again with gun possession.Once again, a judge transferred the case to Family Court.
According to the Bronx DA’s office,
Prosecutors asked for Ramirez to be held on $25,000 – $75,000 bail on Dec. 13, the Bronx District Attorney’s office said. Judge Ashlee Crawford set bail at $2,000.
The case was transferred to Family Court and Judge Denis Boyle ordered him released on his own recognizance over an objection from prosecutors.
Ramirez’s third arrest on Feb. 23, was for reckless endangerment. He allegedly shot himself in the foot on Feb. 8 while on his way to “spin the block” in Slattery territory.
Police sources said he lied about his injury and said someone else shot him. Security video debunked his claim.
His case was once again sent to Family Court, over the strong objections of the Bronx DA’s office, the sources said. He was released from a juvenile facility on March 31, authorities said.
Prosecutors in the Bronx said they asked for $50,000 to $150,000 bail to be set at Ramirez’s Feb. 23 arraignment and it was set for $75,000.
On March 2 after Ramirez’s lawyer asked for a reduction in bail and Judge Boyle lowered the amount to $10,000-$25,000.
The family was able to post bail a few weeks later. Ramirez was ordered to check in regularly.
The Bronx DA’s office claims prosecutors wanted the case to stay in criminal court, but Boyle denied that.
With 174 shooting incidents, last month was the worst May for shootings since 1996, when there were 198 in the month, NYPD data shows.
Cops are searching for a second suspect in the Velasquez shooting.
Velasquez declined to cooperate with police before he died, cops said. Ramirez was nabbed by looking at surveillance video.
The teenager surrendered to the 46the Precinct Stationhouse with his mother on Wednesday.
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