Parolee Juan Rivera, 52, is facing up to life in prison after he tried to snatch a terrified youngster Wednesday afternoon in the Woodstock neighborhood – just blocks from where he fatally shot a man in 2003, prosecutors said in Bronx Criminal Court.
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Rivera was on lifetime parole after being released from state prison in August, and had been on parole for burglary when he was charged in the second-degree murder case two decades ago, officials said.
“He had been placed on probation,” Judge Tara Collins said. “And he violated that probation. So it just shows he’s not able to follow the terms and conditions of his probation or just not leading a law abiding life once he’s released on parole.”
The judge sided with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office request he be remanded, and also issued an order of protection for the girl. Rivera’s attorney Anna Sim had asked the judge for a partially secured bond of $30,000 at 10%.
Rivera appeared in court dressed in a tank top and khakis, fidgeting and trying to hide behind his attorney to avoid being photographed by news cameras. He held his head down during the proceeding.
Stepdad Abraham Perez previously told The Post he was walking the girl to buy snacks on Fox Street and St. John Avenue when Rivera made a beeline for them at around 3:15 p.m.
Rivera allegedly yanked the girl by her collar and pried her away from her father, pulling he child down the street, prosecutors said
“The girl screamed and fought and thankfully, ultimately broke away and ran back into her father’s arms while the defendant made his way away from the scene,” assistant District Attorney Allison Pridmore said in court.
He didn’t get more than a block away before he was arrested by an officer who was flagged down by he shocked stepfather.
“I f—ked up,” the suspect allegedly told police after he was taken into custody, prosecutors said.
Rivera was slapped with charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, harassment, and acting in the injuring of a child. He will undergo medical and psyche evaluation.
The little girl was left shaken by nearly being snatched from her stepdad in broad daylight.
“This kidnapping caused great harm to the little girl, who is upset, traumatized, and fearful after the attack,” Pridmore said.
Perez said on Thursday his “heart hurts” for his stepdaughter.
“This morning I cried because she came and hugged me and told me she was still worried,” Perez said. The girl was crying at night and “didn’t want to sleep alone,” he added.
“She is a very sweet, lovely girl,” he said. “She didn’t even want to go to the police station to do a report because she was afraid. She is worried for me. She has a lot of questions.”
Rivera had been sentenced to 25 years-to-life in for the 2003 murder of a 33-year-old man but was released in Aug. 25, records showed. He had several other raps including weapons and drug charges dating back to 1998, according to cops.
His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 15.