Two more arrests in New Year’s machete attack in Ridgewood

Police arrested two additional suspects allegedly involved in a New Year's Day gang assault at this Ridgewood intersection.
Photo via Google Maps

Officers picked up last week two teenagers allegedly involved in a gang assault on New Year’s Day in Ridgewood in which a 21-year-old man was attacked with a machete.

Erick Difo, 16, and Antonel Rivas, 18, were collared Thursday by the 104th Precinct for their alleged roles in the incident, which occurred at about 3:18 a.m. on Jan. 1 at the corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and Palmetto Street.

According to information provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office, Difo and Rivas were a part of a group of at least seven individuals who punched the victim about the body and knocked him to the ground.

One member of the group reportedly pulled out a machete and sliced the victim numerous times across the face, right shoulder, back and chest. Other members of the group allegedly removed the victim’s right earring, two gold necklaces and $200 in cash from his pants pockets.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the incident in progress and apprehended three individuals at the scene: Hamler DeJesus, 19, of Ridgewood; William Gonzalez, 22, of Ozone Park; and an unidentified 14-year-old male juvenile offender. The three were each charged on first-degree counts of gang assault, assault and robbery, as well as second-degree robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

Difo and Rivas were identified as suspects after being spotted on security camera footage of the incident that police obtained during the course of their investigation. According to the criminal complaint, Rivas was observed on camera striking the victim in the face with a glass bottle.

Difo was booked on first-degree charges of robbery, assault and gang assault, as well as a second-degree robbery count and a fourth-degree weapons possession charge. Rivas was arrested on second-degree assault and fourth-degree weapons possession charges.

At their arraignments on Friday, Jan. 22, Difo was ordered held on $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash and Rivas was jailed on $40,000 bail. They are due back in court on Jan. 27.