A man who was struck at least 20 times in a chaotic and deadly police shootout at a block party was arraigned Monday on weapons charges, but prosecutors didn't charge him with more serious crimes including attempted murder.
Police arrested Angel Alvarez on charges including attempted murder and assault, but he was arraigned in Manhattan criminal court on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He was ordered held without bail because of a prior weapons conviction.
Prosecutors said it was uncertain whether Alvarez shot at police officers.
The melee erupted at around 3 a.m. on Aug. 8 during a block party in Harlem. Alvarez, 23, got into a fight with Luis Soto and wrestled a gun away from him. Prosecutors said Soto was killed by police bullets. Alvarez miraculously survived a hail of police gunfire. Three bystanders and two police officers were wounded.
Alvarez was arrested over the weekend on his release from a hospital.
Defense lawyer Matthew Galluzzo said Alvarez didn't shoot at any police officers. He said the gun belonged to Soto and Alvarez wrestled it away from him in an attempt to save his own life.
Assistant District Attorney Jon Veiga said police fired 46 times in the shootout.
Four officers involved in the shooting have been placed on desk duty while the investigation continues.