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A teenager arrested for his part in an alleged attack on New York City drivers insists he is innocent and the charges against him are “bulls–t.”
Despite video footage and witness accounts of bike-riding teens attacking vehicles in Manhattan this week, 15-year-old Geovanni Valle maintains police arrested him in error. Speaking with the New York Post shortly after his release from a juvenile detention center, the teen claimed he was shopping at the time of the incident and does not even own a bike.
Valle was suspected of allegedly being part of a roving bike gang that attacked a taxi cab and another car earlier this week. Multiple videos were recorded and shared from the scene of one attack on a BMW SUV which had a 36-year-old man and his elderly mother inside.
Police asked for the public’s help in identifying any of the suspects in the attack in broad daylight and soon arrested Valle, charging him with criminal mischief and rioting.
NYC: Your @NYPDDetectives need your help to identify these individuals.
This shocking & violent attack occurred yesterday (12/29) at the intersection of East 21st St & 5th Ave, Manhattan. This is your city, it’s your call!
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) December 30, 2020
The teen’s father, Oscar Valle, told the New York Post that police officers showed him images from the incident and informed him that the youngest of his three sons was involved.
“The police say for sure, he is the one!” the father said, contending that the youth in the picture he was shown was “much taller and very strong! My son is a skinny guy.”
The 15-year-old Queens boy insisted that he was nowhere near the scene of the crime on Wednesday.
“I think it’s bulls–t,” Valle told the outlet. “I wasn’t even there!”
The teen showed The Post a receipt from a Footaction shoe store at the Queens Center Mall which had a timestamp of 3:49 p.m.
“It was my mom’s birthday. I was shopping for her present, a sweater and shoes,” he said, explaining that he had shown police the same receipt but they did not accept his alibi.
“They said it doesn’t matter,” Valle recounted. “Other people said it was me [at the crime scene].”
He claimed he had only heard of the attacks through social media.
“It’s crazy! I know people don’t have no life, they just do stuff like that,” he said. “I was watching it on Instagram. I didn’t think it was going to come back on me!”
Holding up a photo of the suspect next to his own face, Valle told the newspaper, “I don’t think it looks like me.”
“It kinda looks like him, a little bit,” the teen’s older brother Johnathan conceded before pointing out a glaring problem with the allegations against the younger Valle.
“He doesn’t have a bike to do that,” he noted.
The youth’s father added that seeing his young son arrested left him feeling “depressed.”
“I feel depressed seeing my kid put in handcuffs, treated like a criminal,” he said. “He’s only 15.”
Video footage was also posted this week of the bike gang attack on a cab driver which resulted in more than $2,000 in repairs, according to CBS New York.
This horrifying scene on 29th St & 5th Ave yesterday – an arbitrary and unprovoked attack on this taxi driver. (the bikers then proceeded to do this to 2 other cars down 5th) Was anyone else a witness to this–please share your videos with the 13th Detective Squad! @kaptainjac pic.twitter.com/Zfnt42O3jo
— Teny Geragos, Esq. (@tenygeragos) December 30, 2020
“I’ve lived here my entire life as a New Yorker, for 36 years. I feel like I’m entitled to answers from the city as to what allowed this to happen and what they’re going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else again,” said Max Torgovnick, the man driving the SUV with his 74-year-old mother inside that was attacked a few minutes after the cab.
“I don’t know that I want them to go to jail. I don’t know that that would help them,” he said. “But there needs to be accountability and way to address it in a healthy, socially productive way.”
Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incidents were “absolutely unacceptable.”
“You have these teenagers doing something that’s just wrong, period. We gotta teach our young people better all the time,” he told a CBS New York reporter on Thursday. “It’s incumbent upon all of us, but we also have to have consequences, so there will be consequences in this case.”
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