Prior victim of accused cop killer Guy Rivera recalls near-deadly clash

Thirteen years before he was accused of murdering a police officer on a Queens street, career criminal Guy Rivera tried to rob a man, shooting at him at point-blank range — and missing.

“He was standing like 2 feet away from me,” Ronald Foots, 64, told the Daily News on Wednesday. “I don’t know how he missed me. He was pointing at my stomach. God had his hand on me at the time because he missed me.”

Foots, who crossed paths with the murder suspect in the courtyard of a Queens public housing complex, said Rivera was trying to intimidate him after he refused to turn over some money he had that Rivera was trying to take from him.

“Don’t make me have to take that money out of your pocket,” Rivera said, according to court records.

After Foots refused, Rivera went to a nearby building and came back with a gun. Then he fired a shot and missed.

A day later, Foots said he received a phone call from his attacker.

“Why did you call the cops?” Rivera said, according to a criminal complaint. “I thought we were going to take this to the streets and take care of this like men. I know you have a family out here. I’ll hurt your son.”

Rivera never followed through on the threat, Foots said.

“They picked him up a week later at his little girlfriend’s house,” the victim recalled. “I never had to go to court about that or anything. He told his story and he went to jail.”

Rivera went to prison for three and a half years for attempted robbery, reckless endangerment and aggravated harassment, charges far less serious than what he is facing for allegedly shooting NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, 31, to death during a car stop in Far Rockaway.

Diller, a member of the NYPD’s Queens South Community Response Team, his partner and a sergeant were on Mott Ave. near Smith Place when they observed a Kia SUV idling in the bus stop for more than 10 minutes around 5:50 p.m. on Monday, officials said.

Rivera, 31, was in the passenger seat of a car being operated by Lindy Jones, 41, police said.

After Rivera refused to exit the vehicle, he and Diller began playing tug-of-war with the door. Then Rivera shot him.

Cops said Diller was shot in the torso underneath his bullet-resistant vest, but managed to keep Rivera from picking up the gun again after he dropped it.

Another officer returned fire and shot Rivera in the back, cops said.

The accused cop killer is expected to recover and Jones, the driver of the Kia Soul, was taken into custody, police said.

“That young guy did that?” Foots said after learning of Diller’s death. “I’m so sorry for that officer and his family.”

Foots is glad Rivera is off the streets.

“He’s where he needs to be now,” he said.