Suspect In Fatal Brooklyn Hit-And-Run Appears In Court
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man accused in a hit-and-run that killed a 12-year-old girl and injured her mother and sister was slapped with multiple charges late Thursday.
As CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported, police said Robert Decarlo, 26, was picked up by sharp-eyed detectives around 1 p.m. Thursday.
Decarlo was charged late Thursday with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and in injury, grand larceny, reckless endangerment and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was also ticketed on citations of speeding and running a red light.
Decarlo did not answer reporters’ questions as detectives escorted him out of the 62nd Precinct station house in Bath Beach on Thursday night on the way to his arraignment, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
The suspect made an initial court appearance for an arraignment late Thursday and was being held without bail. He is due back in court Wednesday of next week.
Meanwhile Thursday, a makeshift memorial was growing at the site on Flatlands Avenue where police said the girl named Joey Sellers, 12, was killed.
Joey had just gotten off the bus from camp and was standing with her mother, 38-year-old Marcia Landis, and her 9-year-old sister, Charlie, when a Dodge Caravan lost control just past Schenectady Avenue. police said.
Renee Hayes, just 12 years old herself, said she saw everything.
“I just heard the big screech and the bang, and it was just very, very scary,” she said.
“Those are kids my age, and that could’ve been me walking down the sidewalk,” Hayes added.
A picture taken at the scene shows neighbors and bystanders rushing over to pull the vehicle off the victims.
“There was one (person) actually under it, and we lifted it up,” said witness Shamar Brooks.
“These little kids were innocent kids just standing at the bus stop and it’s just so sad,” said witness Akealiah Nathan.
Police said Decarlo was behind the wheel of the stolen minivan and took off running as horrified witnesses raced over to help the victims.
“I asked him, ‘Where are you going? You know, you need to stop,’” said witness Mitch Gejeste.
But Gejeste said the man said nothing, kept running and never looked back. Gejeste said he chased the suspect through backyards, but the suspect started jumping fences.
Charlie was in critical condition at Kings County Hospital Center late Thursday. Her mother was stable, but barely conscious, officials said.
Relatives said Landis still did not know what happened to her daughters as of Thursday.
“Terrible. You could tell, you know?” said Oland Pierre, the victim’s cousin. “This is bad for everybody.”
Meanwhile, police used surveillance video to identify Decarlo and spent nearly 24 hours hunting him down.
Detectives picked him up on the street while he was allegedly on his way to surrender.
Decarlo was arrested earlier this year for drug possession.
Last month, he was accused of snatching the purse of a 65-year-old woman. Decarlo was charged with grand larceny, robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a controlled substance in that case.
He was arraigned just this past Tuesday in the purse-snatching case and released on a recognizance bond.
Family members of the victims were still trying to absorb the shock of losing Joey — a little girl who loved to dance and paint.
“She was a beautiful girl, and she had a bright future,” Pierre said. “And definitely, this guy took it away from the family.”
While relatives said they had compassion for the suspect, they wanted justice.
“It’s not the first time someone did something and they fled and they regret it,” Pierre said. “We don’t know if it’s this case. But if it is, it’s terrible.”
The Dodge Caravan that Decarlo was allegedly driving had been reported stolen from an auto repair shop in another part of Brooklyn earlier Wednesday, sources told CBS 2.
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