Police in Connecticut have arrested the 12th suspect in the brutal machete murder of a Bronx teen after scanning his license plate during routine traffic enforcement, officials said.
Officers with the Connecticut State Police pulled over Luis Cabrarasantos, 25, as he drove east on I-84 near Danbury, Conn., just after 2:30 p.m. on Monday, after a state trooper’s license plate reader pinged his vehicle as belonging to a wanted fugitive.
Officers there arrested him and took him into custody at New Haven Correctional Center, where he’s being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for an extradition hearing at Waterbury Superior Court before being transferred to New York, Connecticut police said in a statement.
Cabrarasantos is wanted in New York for his alleged involvement in the murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, 15, who was dragged out of a Bronx bodega on June 20 by a group of accused gang members before being beaten and hacked to death with machetes, according to police.
Like the other 11 suspects in the killing, Cabrarasantos is accused of being a member of the Trinitarios, a Dominican street gang that is said to have gained a foothold in sections of The Bronx and upper Manhattan in recent years, according to the New York Daily News.
It was not immediately clear what role Cabrarasantos allegedly played in the murder, and a spokeswoman for the NYPD said she could not comment on specifics until Cabrarasantos is extradited to New York.
Video of the brutal assault added a macabre element to the teen’s death, showing his last moments as one suspect dragged him outside so his accomplices could set upon Guzman-Feliz with knives and machetes. The video shows several of the suspects swinging at Guzman-Feliz, with one delivering a fatal thrust to his neck before the attackers scattered.
The video then shows a desperate Guzman-Feliz as he first looks for help inside the bodega, then stumbles, clutching his throat, in the direction of Saint Barnabas Hospital, where police said he collapsed.
Police caught up with various suspects almost immediately, arresting alleged participants in raids in The Bronx, Manhattan, and New Jersey, according to the Daily News.
Guzman-Feliz, a member of the NYPD’s Law Enforcement Explorers program, was an aspiring NYPD detective and police believe his murder may have been a case of mistaken identity after the alleged gang members set out to retaliate against another person who they accused of leaking a sex tape between himself and a female relative of one of the men, according to the New York Post.
The crime raised howls of indignation from local tabloids and from community leaders, who demanded that the bodega in which Guzman-Feliz unsuccessfully sought shelter be closed after surveillance footage showed workers there refusing to help the mortally wounded teen.
In addition to Cabrarasantos, the other suspects who are being charged with the murder include Kevin Alvarez, 19; Elvin Garcia, 23; Jose Muniz, 21; Jose Tavares, 21; Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24; Danel Fernandez, 21; Manuel Rivera, 18; Antonio Hernandez-Santiago, 24; Gabriel Concepcion-Ramirez, 26; Danilo Payamps Pacheco, 21, and Diego Suero, 29, police said.
All 11 have been charged with murder, records show.
[Photo: Connecticut State Police]