Fordham Law

Angel Alvarez Charged After Police Shootout

Annemarie McAvoy on Fox 5, August 18, 2010

Media Source

MYFOXNY.COM - Former federal prosecutor, and current Fordham law professor Anne Marie McAvoy discussed the prosecution against Angel Alvarez in connection with a police shootout in Harlem.

The NYPD has charged Alvarez, who was wounded in th chaotic shootout , weapons violations, but not attempted murder.

Angel Alvarez was arraigned Monday on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the August 8, 2010, incident. Alvarez himself was shot 21 times in the shootout, which killed another man and wounded two cops.

As the family of Angel Alvarez left criminal court Monday, they complained about police, but it was the police who, at least for now, appear to have lost a round to him.

Police had arrested him Saturday on charges of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at cops. But he was not arraigned on those charges -- only the weapons charges.

At a crowded block party on August 8, Alvarez and Luis Soto got in a fistfight when one of them produced a gun. Police said Alvarez shot at responding officers, who responded by shooting back 46 times.

A police bullet probably killed Soto. Alvarez was hit some 20 times. But his lawyer said prosecutors did not have enough evidence to support attempted murder. The lawyer said that Alvarez was only trying to protect himself when he wrestled the gun away from Soto and did not shoot at cops.

Alvarez could face a reckless manslaughter charge if evidence shows that Alvarez's actions led to the death of Luis Soto, according to a legal expert.

Because Alvarez was convicted of a gun charge in 2005, he faces 7 to 15 years in prison if convicted of just the new criminal possession of a weapon charges.

The district attorney's office emphasizes that it is still investigating this case.