Murder suspect charged with threatening to shoot Upper Yoder Township man, police say

  • In US
  • 2022-11-24 12:54:00Z
  • By The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

Nov. 24-JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A Johnstown man charged in the October stabbing death of Hayden Garreffa, 19, in Indiana County is now accused of threatening to shoot a man in Upper Yoder Township a month earlier, authorities said.

Upper Yoder Township police charged Thomas Alan Rivera, 20, of the 1300 block of Saylor Street, with terroristic threats, simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.

According to a complaint affidavit, a man was driving home at 8:14 p.m. Sept. 14 when he spotted a group standing near Bockel Circle trying to coax him into a fight, the affidavit said.

Rivera, who goes by the name of "Dizzy," allegedly shouted to the driver to pull over so he could shoot him.

Rivera lifted his shirt, exposing a handgun in his waistband, police said.

The driver told police that the incident stemmed from a school dispute.

Police logged onto Facebook and found a screen name of "Dizzy Rivera." Facebook photos reportedly showed a tattooed Rivera posing with marijuana and a gun. He was identified as the same man who had threatened to shoot the driver.

Rivera and six other adults are being held in Indiana County Jail without bond after being charged with homicide in Garreffa's death.

State police in Indiana said Garreffa was kidnapped from his grandmother's home in Buffington Township on Oct. 20 after a dispute with one of the suspects.

His body was found two days later in tall grass in Brush Valley Township.

Rivera also faces criminal charges in Windber Borough, accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in July.

Windber Borough police said Rivera and the girl communicated via Snapchat. They agreed to meet at Sheetz and later walked to a nearby residence where the alleged assault took place.

Rivera is charged with rape by forcible compulsion, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault and corruption of minors.


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