Gang member arrested in 2005 murder of Long Island college basketball player

Monday, February 06, 2017 05:34PM
Candace McCowan has the story.

ISLAND PARK, Long Island - The 2005 murder of a college basketball player on Long Island was solved with the arrest of a longtime gang member over the weekend.

Police arrested 32-year-old Jaime Rivera Saturday night and charged him with murder in aid of racketeering and illegal use of a firearm.

She is outraged that he wants to get out on bail.

"It's not fair, it's not fair," she said.

She walked out of court holding her son's photo.

It the same photo she held against her chest in court as the man accused of killing him 12 years ago went before a judge.

She watched with anger exploding inside.

"It's crazy, my son begged me to keep quiet up in there because I feel like I was going to scream," Dawn said.

It's the tale of two men.

The first Tafare Berryman, 22, the son of an immigrant, a basketball player just weeks away from graduating college at C.W. Post.

And Rivera, the son of a New York City police officer and allegedly the member of a gang.

Investigators charged Rivera with killing Berryman in 2005 as Berryman was trying to get away from a knife fight at an Island Park club.

According to court documents, Rivera had mistaken Berryman for someone else who was threatening the gang.

Investigators say Rivera fled from apprehension on February 1st by driving onto the sidewalk and crashing into a tree and a fence.

He avoided capture for three days, collecting money during that time to make his escape. He was captured Saturday night with $1,000 in his possession.

"I can't believe he take my son's life like that and he wants to get away, he wants to get bail, 12 years I've waited for this day, 12 years," Dawn said.

Outside of court, Rivera's family kept quiet.

For 12 years Berryman's family has waited.

Even with Rivera behind bars, they're still searching for comfort.

"He made it seem like he just didn't care," said Duane Thompson, the victim's brother.

"The day when he gets sentenced will be more comforting to me," Dawn said.

It's not just Rivera's mother who is former law enforcement, but his step-father and brother serve currently as police officers.

Rivera is back in court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.
The murder was unsolved for more than a decade. It had been featured on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" in 2006.
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