FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Prosecutors say the man arrested early Tuesday and charged with killing his girlfriend in a hit-and-run in Fort Lee, New Jersey may have been trying to flee the country.
The Bergen County prosecutor’s office said 26-year-old Charles J. Ann has been charged with murdering 25-year-old Aena Hong after they say he ran over Hong several times with his car around 5 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Anderson Avenue and Inwood Terrace.
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Authorities say witnesses told police that Hong was walking along side Ann’s car arguing with him when he sped off, turned around and accelerated at Hong as she was crossing the street. Ann then drove over Hong at least three more times before taking off, officials said.
Witness Fengying Gao only speaks Chinese, but said she could tell there was trouble Monday evening, when she saw a man, believed to be Ann, yelling from his car to Hong.
Her son translated to CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
“They were, I think they were quarreling with each other, because the woman shouted ‘no no!’” Hong Liu said.
Cops said after dumping his car, Ann fled to Flushing, Queens where he was arrested at a friend Young Kim’s apartment early Tuesday morning around 4 a.m.
“I mean just surprised and shocked, you know,” Kim told CBS 2’s Dennis. “At the time I met them, they were fine. They were okay.”
Ann waived his right to extradition in a Queens courtroom on Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors said at the time of his arrest, Ann was carrying his passport and had a large amount of cash with him when he was arrested, indicating he may have been trying to flee the country.
Police found his black Hyundai Sonata parked in a neighborhood about a mile away from the scene.
Investigators said the two were in a “tumultuous dating relationship.” The young couple dated for less than a year and lived in a building by the George Washington Bridge. About a month ago, friends said she told him it was over and that Ann allegedly became enraged, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reported.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Scene
Mira Park, who was the victim’s English teacher at a language school, said she saw Ann harassing his former girlfriend, who told her teacher there were “relationship issues.”
“He had mental issues, and yeah, it’s just terrible. I just, I’m so shocked and stunned that something like this would happen,” Park said. “She was a sweet girl. This is just a tragedy.”
Those who witnessed the scene Monday evening said it was horrifying.
“When I ran over there, I saw a body over there and it was just, it was horrific,” described witness Gene Hoffman. “It was a pretty horrible to see right in front of your place of employment and this community.”
Hong’s tennis shoes were found scattered in the street. Pam Roseland, a retired nurse, said she desperately tried to help.
“I just kept talking to her, I didn’t know what else to do,” she said. “She was definitely very, very hurt.”
Ann has been charged with murder and is being held on $3 million bail, considered a flight risk. He will be extradited back to Fort Lee on Friday. An autopsy was scheduled for Hong later Tuesday by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office.
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