A poster boy for bail reform will miss out on meeting former President Barack Obama at a Manhattan gala awards ceremony Wednesday night — because he was busted during a traffic stop hours earlier.
Pedro Hernandez was stopped while driving a BMW in the Bronx around noon Wednesday, cops said.
A computer check revealed that the plates on the car were stolen and Hernandez’s driver’s license was suspended, and he was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and related charges, a law enforcement source said.
The incident marked at least his 13th arrest and the third time he’s been stopped for driving without a license in the past two years.
Hernandez was being held pending arraignment, said his lawyer, Alex Spiro.
Hernandez became a cause celebre for critics of the criminal justice system when he refused to accept a no-jail plea bargain in a Bronx shooting on grounds that he was innocent.
He spent a year on Rikers Island before the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization posted his $100,000 bail in July 2017.
The group is hosting its annual Ripple of Hope Gala at the New York Hilton Midtown on Wednesday night, with Obama among those set to be honored, and Hernandez was on the guest list, Spiro said.
“It is unfortunate and unfair that over a petty offense Pedro is forced to spend more time behind bars instead of attending the Kennedy event tonight, where he would have had the opportunity to spend time with President Obama,” Spiro said.
“Our system is broken. It is clear, given the history here, that Pedro is being targeted. And every time, he wins his freedom.”
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark dropped all charges in the shooting case in September 2017, saying one of the witnesses was no longer cooperating and initial information turned out to be “inconsistent and contradictory.”
In October, the DA’s Office also offered to dismiss a second case against him, involving a 2015 armed robbery, on the condition that he enrolls in college in January and completes the semester.
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