Man in fake body armor busted on Lower East Side on charge of menacing NYC pedestrian

It wouldn’t have stopped a bullet — but it helped get him stopped by cops.

A man wearing fake body armor was busted in lower Manhattan on Friday after what a witness described as a road-rage incident on Norfolk St. near Rivington St. on the Lower East Side.

Brooklyn resident John Hayer, 26, was driving a green Land Rover north on Norfolk when he got into an argument with a pedestrian who complained about the loud music he was playing, said police.

“He pulled up a little too close to the guy who was crossing,” said a worker from a nearby apartment building, who wished to remain anonymous.

The Land Rover’s driver rolled down the window, said the building worker. “The guy [pedestrian] said he [Hayer] pointed a gun at him and said ‘Keep walking!’” the worker said.

The pedestrian called 911, the worker said. “He was in shock,” the witness said. “Who expects someone to pull a gun on them when they’re crossing the street?”

Hayer drove off, and parked the Land Rover a few blocks away, on Stanton St. near Orchard St., police said.

Officers began looking for Hayer, who they said was described by a 911 caller as armed and wearing body armor.

When cops found the Land Rover parked on Orchard St., they waited there for Hayer to return.

At about 1:10 p.m. Hayer returned to the car and NYPD officers arrested him on a charge of menacing, said police.

Hayer had no gun, and the fake body armor was probably some kind of fashion statement, police said.

Hayer has a record of three prior arrests, said a police source. His most recent arrest, in February, was in Brooklyn on charges of strangulation, said the source and public records.

With Emma Seiwell