NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police on Monday identified and released a photo of a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that wiped away a young family in Brooklyn, leaving the Tri-State Area stunned.
As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, Julio Acevedo, 44, is wanted for allegedly running away after the BMW police said he was driving slammed into a livery cab. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
The crash killed Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, who were in the cab on their way to the hospital. Raizy Glauber was seven months pregnant at the time.
Their baby boy, who was delivered by emergency Cesarean section after the crash, died around 5:30 a.m. Monday, according to community leader Isaac Abraham.
“We will be very vocal and strong demanding that the prosecution in this case charge these cowards who left the scene of an accident,” Abraham said.
Police said Acevedo was going at least 60 mph early Sunday morning when he slammed into a livery cab at Kent Avenue and Wilson Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
“He was seen running from the scene and is suspected of being the driver of the BMW,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
But Browne did not say who saw the suspect running away from the crash scene or how detectives identified Acevedo as the suspect.
Acevedo has an extensive criminal history, including a 1987 conviction for manslaughter in a shooting death. He served 10 years, was sent back for a parole violation, and then was released in 1999. His parole expired in 2003. He also had a DWI arrest in February.
Acevedo is believed to live with family in the Farragut Houses development in Brooklyn, but a knock on the door went unanswered Monday evening.
The BMW that hit the livery cab is registered to a Bronx woman identified as Takia Walker, who is not considered a suspect and was not in the car, police said.
But she has been charged with insurance fraud.
How the car got into the hands of Acevedo was under investigation by police Tuesday.
A source told The Associated Press under condition of anonymity that Walker bought the car legally — or willingly used her identification for the purchase — and then gave the car to another man. The middleman wasn’t driving at the time of the accident, and had either lent or rented the car out to the driver.
Investigators initially thought there was also a passenger in the BMW, but later said the driver was alone in the vehicle, the AP reported.
Meanwhile, the close-knit Orthodox Jewish community that poured into the streets to mourn Nachman and Raizy Glauber Sunday was in mourning again a day later for the baby who didn’t make it.
“If he would have stayed alive, he would have been in memory and a little reminder to the grandparents of his parents,” Abraham said. “And now that little boy has been torn away as well.”
On Monday, family and friends sat shiva in the Glaubers’ Brooklyn apartment, the triple loss was sinking in. Raizy Glauber’s brother explained how they were coping.
“This was God’s will, and we accept it,” said Joseph Silverstein. “There’s nothing more we can say.”
The family said while Acevedo has been named as a suspect, that is not their immediate concern.
“We can’t get into it,” Silverstein said. “We don’t follow the news. We can’t get into it. We’re leaving that for the authorities. We have nothing to say about it.”
But others said three lives were lost and that must not be forgotten.
“That won’t bring her back,” said community member Chezkel Wertheimer. “But he has to come to justice.”
“Give yourself up. Make the pain a little easier so that at least we’ll know that you’re not a coward facing charges,” said Abraham. “You’re already a coward for running.”
Abraham said after the crash, the livery cab’s engine ended up in the backseat where Raizy Glauber was sitting before she was ejected.
“The woman was thrown out of the car,” he said. “On impact, the husband was killed immediately.”
Police said the expectant mother landed under a tractor-trailer. Witnesses said her husband was pinned in the car and emergency workers had to cut off the roof to get him out.
There was a stop sign at the intersection, though police said it’s unclear who had the right of way.
The Glaubers were both pronounced dead at the hospital. According to the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office, they both died of blunt-force trauma.
Family friends said the baby boy, who only weighed 3 pounds, will be named after his father. Officials with the medical examiner’s office said the baby’s death was caused by extreme prematurity due to maternal blunt force injuries.
The driver of the livery cab, Pedro Nunez Delacruz, suffered only minor injuries.
Delacruz had a current driver’s license, but an application to use the Toyota as a livery cab was pending and the vehicle should not have been sent to pick up the passengers, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Delacruz’s union said he had done nothing wrong.
Anyone with information should call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
Abraham said the baby was to be interred in Kiryas Joel Cemetery later Monday where his parents were buried. He was not to have a funeral, in accordance with religious tradition.
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