Pedro Hernandez, 22, is suspected of shooting into a Mercedes on Fifth Avenue and 50th Street, at 5:45pm August 28

Pedro Hernandez, 22, is suspected of shooting into a Mercedes on Fifth Avenue and 50th Street, at 5:45pm August 28

Pedro Hernandez, 22, is suspected of shooting into a Mercedes on Fifth Avenue and 50th Street, at 5:45pm August 28

A New York City career criminal once promoted as a poster child for bail reform is now wanted by police for attempted murder in a broad daylight shooting in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan.

Pedro Hernandez, 22, is suspected of shooting into a Mercedes on Fifth Avenue and 50th Street, at 5:45pm August 28.

Hernandez is believed to have lost cash and gold jewelry to a pair of hustlers in a game of three-card monte, and then lost his temper when the men refused to return to lost valuables.

As the men drove off in their red Mercedes, Hernandez allegedly fired a single shot into the driver’s side door.

Police say he then climbed into his own car, a black BMW, and pursued the Mercedes to the parking garage of the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue, according to The New York Post.

Inside the garage, men then dumped Hernandez’s belongings, which he scooped up before fleeing. 

As the men drove off in their red Mercedes, Hernandez allegedly fired a single shot into the driver's side door

As the men drove off in their red Mercedes, Hernandez allegedly fired a single shot into the driver’s side door

A New York City career criminal once promoted as a poster child for bail reform is now wanted by police for carrying out a shooting in broad daylight in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in midtown Manhattan

A New York City career criminal once promoted as a poster child for bail reform is now wanted by police for carrying out a shooting in broad daylight in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan

Hernandez is a familiar face in New York’s criminal justice system.

In 2017 at the age of 17, he became the face of the city’s bail-reform when he was sent to Rikers after refusing a plea deal for a 2015 shooting of 15-year-old boy at a Bronx bodega. 

The deal would have let him walk without jail time, but he maintained his innocence and was put behind bars with a $250,000 bail for a year awaiting his trial.

His case garnered national attention, and he was eventually bailed out by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation after the amount was reduced to $100,000. The charges in that case were dropped before his trial when a witness refused to cooperate.

One of his priors involved a 2015 Bronx bodega shooting. Hernandez was offered a plea deal in the case that would have spared him jail time, but he balked, claiming his innocence, and in 2017 began spending a year on Rikers Island while held on $250,000 bail for the crime.

He swiftly became a cause celebrity for criminal-justice advocates and was eventually bailed out of jail on a reduced amount of $100,000 by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation. The charges against him were eventually dropped after a key witness refused to cooperate.

In the spring of 2019 he was picked up again and charged for a bodega robbery which left a victim with a slash to his face which required 15 stitches. He was released on $15,000 bail after that arrest.

Hernandes also has three open gun charges against him dating back to 2019, according to The Post, just a trio of the 15 arrests he had to his name by that year.

Police say he then climbed into his own car, a black BMW, and pursued the Mercedes to the parking garage of the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue, according to The New York Post

Police say he then climbed into his own car, a black BMW, and pursued the Mercedes to the parking garage of the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue, according to The New York Post

Hernandez is believed to have lost cash and gold jewelry to a pair of hustlers in a game of three-card monte, and then lost his temper when the men refused to return to lost valuables

Hernandez is believed to have lost cash and gold jewelry to a pair of hustlers in a game of three-card monte, and then lost his temper when the men refused to return to lost valuables

Hernandez and his attorneys have long insisted he has been harassed and targeted by the NYPD.

‘Mr. Hernandez has been a target of the N.Y.P.D.,’ Bronx Defenders attorney Julia Deutsch said in 2019, ‘The details of this case will come out and the truth will prevail.’

Another attorney representing Hernandez at the time said the prison system was the only thing keeping Hernandez from living a clean life.

 ‘If the system stays out of Pedro’s way, he is a unique kid with a bright future,’ said attorney Alex Spiro.

Hernandez currently has a lawsuit pending against the NYPD for claims of false arrest, according to The Post. 

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