‘Person of interest’ in Providence homicide faces judge


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A person of interest in last week’s homicide in Providence was in court for arraignment Tuesday afternoon, but not in connection with the deadly shooting.

Heriberto Rivera was arraigned on charges related to Monday’s multiple-vehicle crash in the area of Branch Avenue and Charles Street. He was ordered held on $30,000 bail with surety.

Providence Police Major David Lapatin told Eyewitness News police had been looking for a red car in connection with their investigation into a homicide in the city on Friday when an officer on patrol Monday spotted the car on Douglas Avenue near the Chad Brown Housing projects. That car gave chase and Lapatin said it ultimately sped through the intersection of Branch Avenue and Charles Street, colliding with three other cars.

Lapatin said Rivera then ran from the scene but was arrested a short distance away in a yard on Touro Street.

Court documents show that Rivera’s charges include eluding police, resisting arrest, and carrying a pistol without a license.

Rivera was also arrested six months ago for possession of a firearm.

“The gun itself second time around is troubling enough, But apparently, he exhibited a complete disrespect for anybody else’s safety as he was trying to elude the police,” stated the judge in court on Tuesday.

Lapatin told Eyewitness News Rivera is being questioned in the shooting death of Adalberto Martinez, 36, of Providence. 

Martinez was found shot and killed inside an auto body shop on Amherst Street just before 3 p.m. Friday.

Family members said the father of two just moved here from Puerto Rico and worked as a mechanic at the shop.

Police said Rivera is a person of interest in the killing, but as of Tuesday morning, he’s being charged in connection with Monday’s crash.

Eyewitness News spoke with Rivera’s mother outside court. She said her son it good to her, but she doesn’t know anything about his activities “on the street.” She said she doesn’t believe Rivera knows the homicide victim and doesn’t think he had anything to do the killing.

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