NEW YORK, N.Y. – A man wanted for a hit-and-run crash in New York City that killed a pregnant woman and her husband was arrested Wednesday, authorities said.
New York City police said they arrested the suspected driver Julio Acevedo at a mini-mart in Bethlehem, Pa.
Acevedo allegedly was speeding down a Brooklyn street in a BMW at 60 mph early Sunday when he collided with a car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21. They died Sunday, and their premature son died Monday.
It was not immediatedly known if the 44-year-old Acevedo had a lawyer.
Acevedo was arrested last month on a charge of driving while under the influence, and that case is pending. He served about a decade in prison in the 1990s for manslaughter.
No one answered the door at Acevedo’s last known address, in a public housing complex in Brooklyn. Neighbors said his mother lived in the same building, but she did not answer her door.
The Glauber’s close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn was in mourning, only worsened following the baby’s death. He weighed only about 4 pounds when he was delivered, neighbours and friends said. He died of extreme prematurity, according to the city medical examiner’s office.
The infant was buried Monday near the fresh graves of his parents, according to Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the Hasidic Jewish community. About a thousand community members turned out for the young couple’s funeral a day earlier.
“The mood in the neighbourhood is very heavy,” said Oscar Sabel, a retired printer who lives near the scene of the accident. “We all hoped the baby would survive.”
Brooklyn is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. The couple wed last year in a marriage arranged through a matchmaker and were living in the Williamsburg neighbourhood.
They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect, whose men dress in dark coats and hats, wear long beards like their Eastern European ancestors and have limited dealings with the outside world. Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family. Her husband was studying at a rabbinical college; his family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews.
Sabel, dressed in the traditional long black coat of the Satmar, said it was a terrible tragedy.
“But it’s what God wants,” he said. “Maybe the baby’s death, and his parents’, is not for nothing; God doesn’t have to give us answers.”
Shortly after midnight Sunday, Raizy Glauber, who was seven months pregnant, wasn’t feeling well, so the couple decided to go to the hospital, said Sara Glauber, Nachman Glauber’s cousin. They called a livery cab, a hired car that is arranged via telephone, not hailed off the street like a yellow cab.
The livery cab had a stop sign, but it’s not clear if the driver stopped. Police said the crash with the BMW reduced the cab to a crumpled heap, and Raizy Glauber was thrown from the wreck. The engine ended up in the back seat, Abraham said.
Police said the driver of the BMW ran away.
“We in the community are demanding that the prosecutor charge the driver of BMW that caused the death of this couple and infant … with triple homicide,” Abraham said in a statement. “This coward left the scene of the accident not even bothering to check on the people of the other car.”
How Acevedo came to possess the BMW is also under investigation. The registered owner, Takia Walker, was arrested on insurance fraud charges Sunday in a scam involving the car, police said. She was not involved in the crash. A telephone number registered to Walker rang unanswered.
A person familiar with the investigation said Walker bought the car legally, or allowed her identification to be used in the purchase, then gave the vehicle to a middleman who either lent or rented it out to the driver. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The driver of the livery cab, Pedro Nunez Delacruz, was knocked unconscious but was not seriously hurt. His vehicle should not have been sent to pick up the passengers because an application to use the Toyota as a livery cab had not yet been approved, the city Taxi and Limousine Commission said.
Associated Press writer Jim Fitzgerald in Kiryas Joel, N.Y., contributed to this report.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
The hunt for an ex-convict wanted in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pregnant woman and her husband was a game of cat and mouse on Wednesday, with police getting word that he wants to surrender even though he remains in hiding.
Investigators spoke to a friend of Julio Acevedo who told them he has an attorney and is willing to turn himself in to face charges in the crash on Sunday that killed the couple and ultimately their premature son, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Wednesday. But police have had no direct contact with Acevedo or a lawyer, he added.
“I don’t know if this is a game or what,” Kelly said. The commissioner added: “We’re actively looking for him. We’re not waiting for him to turn himself in.”
Kelly also knocked down a claim by Acevedo in a phone call to a newspaper that he was fleeing a gunman who was trying to shoot at him when his borrowed speeding BMW slammed into a hired car carrying the couple.
The car was carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21. They died Sunday and their child died on Monday.
The suspect told the Daily News that he fled the scene because he was worried he’d be killed, and claimed he didn’t know the couple had died until he saw it in the news. But Kelly said there were no reports of shots fired in the area at the time of the wreck.
The tragedy unfold shortly after midnight Sunday, when Raizy Glauber, who was seven months pregnant, decided to go to the hospital because she wasn’t feeling well, her family said. They called a livery cab, a hired car that is arranged via telephone, not hailed off the street like a yellow cab.
The crash with the BMW reduced the cab to a crumpled heap, and Raizy Glauber was thrown from the wreck. The engine ended up in the back seat. The driver of the livery cab was knocked unconscious but was not seriously hurt.
The couple belonged to a close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, which is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect. Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family. Her husband was studying at a rabbinical college; his family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews.
The child was delivered by cesarean section after his parents were killed. The baby weighed only about 4 pounds when he was delivered, neighbours and friends said. He died of extreme prematurity, the city medical examiner’s office said.
The baby was buried Monday near his parents’ graves, according to a spokesman for the Hasidic Jewish community. About a thousand community members turned out for the young couple’s funeral a day earlier.
Acevedo, 44, was arrested last month on a charge of driving while under the influence, and the case is pending. He was stopped by police after they said he was driving erratically around 3 a.m. Feb. 17. He had a blood-alcohol level of .13, over the limit of .08, police said.
He served about a decade in prison in the 1990s for manslaughter after he was convicted of shooting Kelvin Martin, a Brooklyn criminal whose moniker “50 Cent” was the inspiration for rapper Curtis Jackson’s current stage name.
How Acevedo came to possess the BMW is under investigation. The registered owner was arrested Sunday on insurance fraud charges related to the vehicle, but the case was deferred.
Associated Press Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.