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February 20, 2019

Panhandler bragged he could have avoided arrest — if only he’d seen himself on the news

August 10, 2018
Geovannie Nieves (center) an alleged pipe-wielding panhandler, is in NYPD custody on July 9. Police tracked him down in a shelter after local news channels aired video that showed a straphanger being assaulted. (Theodore Parisienne / for New York Daily News)

The violent panhandler accused of viciously beating a subway rider with a pipe — an act caught on video — bragged to cops that he would have dodged them if only he’d seen the news, court papers show.

Geovannie Nieves, 35, was busted on July 9, more than a day after he was allegedly recorded bashing a straphanger with a metal rod as payback for refusing to give up money.

Police released video of the attack, which happened around 11:15 p.m. on July 7, and they were quickly led to their suspect.

Nieves was collared after investigators got a tip that he was staying in a Brooklyn shelter.

Geovannie Nieves captured on video wielding a metal pipe on the No. 2 train.
Geovannie Nieves captured on video wielding a metal pipe on the No. 2 train. (DCPI /)

“So that’s how you got me: I was in the news,” he blabbed to a detective en route to the 6th Precinct — where a gaggle of reporters were apparently waiting.

“If I would have seen it, you guys would never have got me because I would have never went to the shelter,” he insisted, according to documents filed at his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday.

He also haphazardly confirmed his own identity for investigators when he recognized his picture on a wanted poster at the Transit District 2 station.

“Oh s**t that’s me,” he allegedly said in the midst of cops around 11:30 p.m. on July 8.

Nieves pleaded not guilty Thursday to first- and second-degree assault for the attack on 59-year-old Michael Van Sluytman on a downtown No. 2 train near Chambers St.

Sluytman suffered a fractured skull and broken eye socket.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence of eight years behind bars and five years’ probation.

He’s due back in court in October.

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