NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspected hit-and-run driver has been arrested in Connecticut exactly one month after a beloved Queens bar owner was killed in a wrong-way crash on a Long Island Expressway service road.

Peter Rodriguez, 36, was arrested on Tuesday morning after police received a tip that he was in or near Connecticut.


Around 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 15, police said Rodriguez crashed into a livery cab killing 37-year-old George Gibbons who had just closed up his “Gibbon’s Home” bar in Maspeth.

Rodriguez fled the scene and Gibbons was pronounced dead on arrival.

“Finally we have relief,” the victim’s’ sister, Bernadette Gibbons, told 1010 WINS. “We are just ecstatic to find out that finally we can have a bit of peace of mind and that George can go on to rest now, knowing that finally this creep is captured.”

Police said Rodriguez will face charges in Queens either Wednesday or Thursday.

“The streets are safer for not only our family but for every person walking around,” Gibbons said.

Gibbons standing next to his sister Bernadette in his Queens bar on St. Patrick's Day 2011. (credit: Family Handout)

Sources said Rodriguez has a history of arrests for both narcotics and assaults.

“We have everyone to thank for all of their help,” Gibbons said. “It goes to show what a bit of community and support does. It really does go a long way and we just can not say thank you enough to everyone for everything they’ve done for us.”

On Sunday, hundreds in the community offered their support to the victim’s family during a rally.

Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments (37)
  1. JB says:

    Actually Peter Rodriguez was involved and convicted in a gang assault in Rikers Island which ended in an immate dying, has 2 robbery arrests and was convicted in both, one he had a firearm, a incident where he broke an ex girlfriends eye socket, thats felony assault, and a few arrests for drugs. He was also in a neighborhood where he didnt live or work at 6 am and left 3 peolpe to die. That should sum it up.

  2. teary eyed says:

    very sad, unfortunate situation. this was a ACCIDENT that should not have happened. His past has nothing to do with this ACCIDENT. May god hold the hands and comfort all those that have endured broken hearts due to this tragedy.

    1. Amy says:

      Agree with you a 100%

  3. Amy says:

    people react to situations out of fear not everyone is as fortunate as the next some people grow up without family or people who care and support them live the life of the streets because that is all they know i understand someone who was loved was lost and yes if it was my mother or father i would be upset angry But If it was a accident i know my mother or father with they good heart would have not wanted the worse for him either but then again thats my mom & dad its a bad situation yes it is i feel for all

    1. john doe says:

      that gives no excuse like all ways he was thinking of number 1 himself he left the guy he was with behind he could of been dieing did he think about that noooooooooooo he is a bully an abuser the detective on the case even said wow nobody has said one good thing about this guy if walks like a duck quacks like a duck flys like a duck well its a duck the guy is BAD NEWS

      1. amy says:

        how do you know what he did were you in the car? how do you know the passenger wasnt the one who made the error in this case??no one knows what exactly happend but the driver & the Passenger Only God Can Judge for people to pass judgement on who he was or he is without knowing the situation is sad! and To Woodsider “Thou shalt not KILL”.If It Was intentional IT WAS A ACCIDENT””

        1. irish eyes says:

          it might have been an accident because he did not do intetionally but he was 100% wrong that morning he was going the wrong way and he ran. we can sit here yelling at each other about how it happened or what should have happened but that is not going to change the situation a man is dead have some respect. stop with the race jabs stop with saying all the fighting.

        2. john doe says:

          then i guess every thing on his rap sheet is somebody else’s fault too sounds to me that you were blowing him at one time that your defending this career criminal his rap sheet can be found online look it up he once broke an x girl friends eye socket so i bet she triped and her eye landed on his fist also caught with a gun he must of forgot his gun license at home that day come on please all ready the guy ran cause thats what Criminal do they break the law then run you must be in love with him cause you defend him like you know him making excuses for him not one person here agree’s with you he’s garbage and going away for a long time

          1. amy says:

            John Doe You Are Just A Piece Of Shirt Garbage MF For You To be disrespectful With Your Words!!!I I am simply Voicing My Opinion as all of you are so goes to show how nasty You Are Talk about Peter!!! maybe you just mad that no one is blowing You ,,and honestly your eye socket needs to be broken

            1. Jane Doe says:

              ok seriously this is going way out of control. a man died my friend died in the accident and everyone is being disrespectful. peter rodriguez was a criminal he was given a second chance at being a free man he chose to go back to his old ways being a criminal that is in black and white no one is saying anything that is not public knowledge about him. what he did was 100% wrong and no one can justify his acts. him and his friend were scene leaving the accident but his friend returned because he needed medical attention. the cab driver was injured and my friend was killed. stop with the racist remarks and bashing people. you (Amy) and anyone else that wants to justify peter rodriguez can go and do it someplace else. DO NOT DO IT HERE! this is not the place to do it.

              1. amy says:

                My Deepest Sympathy To George family & his friends and not to anyone else! have a blessed day everyone!!

  4. NotOJ says:

    I wonder if the people who put up the 25 million posters are gonna go and take down the 25 million posters?!! I dint think they looked for Bin Ladin as hard as they did for this guy!!!!

    1. Jane Doe says:

      I will let you know one thing i am one of those people that put up those posters and believe you me i know i am not going to be the one taking them down. the ones that were pulling them down for the past 3 weeks can enjoy it to the fullest now because we got what we wanted and that was him being behind bars!

  5. AS USUAL says:

    a deSPICable

    1. john doe says:

      hey as usual now is that Necessary i know a few Mc’s in the west side that make him look like a choirboy lets stop with the stereotyping every race has there garbage

    2. NotOJ says:

      I can EASILY take a jab at the Irish on this subject but in light of the situation I will have RESPECT!!

  6. john doe says:

    like i said i knew him for few years now the best thing about all of this is hopefully he will be put away for a long time he’s one of those people you really wish you never had met every thing about him and around him was filled with mayhem Chaos and drama he involved every one close to him into his world of shlt people that knew him saw him doing something this stupid it didnt surprise any one at all my prayers go out to the Gibbons family

    1. amy says:

      @ john doe you want to talk now what does that make you? now that he is caught you want to talk shouldnt you had done that long ago?and as far as people he involved correction you involve yourself in your own perdicaments no one does that for you…your just as bad now want talk S***t please you must have done something with him yourself since you know him so good

      1. john doe says:

        look nobody knew were he was he must have been communicating with very few people just because i knew him dosent mean i would knw were he was because if i did i be 10 grand richer

      2. Final Word says:

        @ amy…you must have a very soft spot for this sorry excuse for a man>>??? Accidents don’t just happen…People MAKE them HAPPEN!!!! The accidents that you are adhering to would be conceivable as mistakes or accidents the first or second time that they happen…or if this individual was a child….but with a record like this 36 year old lowlife has….the mistake and accidental factors fly straight out the window…obviously leading everyone to be certain that this creature who is currently enjoying the view from Rikers…is nothing more than GARBAGE!!! anyone who has any remorse or hard feelings for him should be locked up along side of him because if he had any heart AT ALL he would not have run in the first place or he would have turned himself in prior to being caught while on the run!!!

        Now maybe it is a case where you were possibly one of his many foolish female friends or maybe it’s a case where you simply have far too much time on your measly hands….either way….i suggest you stop doing so much talking about something you know nothing about!!! and if you do…then use your knowledge of this man to help the Gibbons’ Family prosecute the selfish individual who ruined their lives by making what you refer to as an “accident” because everyone knows it was NO ACCIDENT!!!!

        @NOT OJ….I think you should realize from the vantage of posters that streamed through the tri-state area and 5 boroughs the impact that the victims had on the community for positive reasons!!! unlike the lengthy negative reputation of Rodriguez. Gibbons was and still is a Legendary Icon in his hometown of Maspeth, Queens and it is for that reason that he was backed by so many supporters.

        In closing…if none of you commenters have anything respectful to say for that of the deceased/injured….or anything deserving of the defendent…then I suggest you remain off this page because it is not a forum for bashing one another or those whose tireless efforts managed to catch a guilty and unremorseful man. It is clearly a celebration of hard work achieved and a tribute to George who sadly passed and his driver who was sadly injured… Put that in your pipes and smoke it!!!

        1. amy says:

          @ Final Word I Am Neither A foolish Female Nor Was I Anything To him & Do not Have Measly Time On My Hands Sorry Dont Sit At Home Waiting For A Check I Work A 9 to 5 Sweety I Earn mines!!! I am Stating My Opinion As You All!!! I Am Deeply Sorry For George Gibbons & His Family And Friends I Truly am.I Just Try To view all aspects of things sorry for being human didnt know this world had many God’s

  7. punisher says:

    dude needs to be punished up his azz and drink all come from cell mates

  8. Vernieer Boocanon says:

    Peter Rodriguez is just another P-O-S who should have been locked away long ago. The criminal justice system lets far too many habitual criminals roam free. Hopefully this coward will be locked away for the rest of his [its] life.

  9. john doe says:

    look i know the guy and all i can say is he wont be missed hes a very bad person who only cares about him self he’s violent and destructive person trust me i know

    1. Jane Doe says:

      maybe you should go to his hearing and tell the judge everything you are saying here so they never allow him on the streets again. It’s amazing you sit here saying how he won’t be missed by anyone than how come none of you came forward stating where he was when this happened a month ago. If none of his friends care for him why did someone lend him their car? It makes me sick to my stomach to know what this man has done in his past and that he was able to see the light of day and since he was released from jail i lost a friend well not just me many people lost a son, brother, friend, community member. The sad part is the person that will not be missed is still alive and the person who is dearly missed will NEVER be able to come back.

      1. john doe says:

        nobody knew were he was he must of kept that info to few people if i knew believe me i be ten grand richer right now trust me

  10. amy says:

    You guys Are funny Especially The Racist KILLDEE Get A Dam Life Loser
    Now I Notice This Isnt Nothing But Racism Why Because He Was Hispanic If It Was A White Person Would You Go To The Extreme With Your Words???And As The FREEDOMWRITER You Just a Low Life Yourself Because No one With A Right mind Would Talk As You wishing Death On Someone …Pretty Sure You Have A Drug User In Your family Because In Know No One Family Is Picture Perfect No One …TWO WRONGS DONT MAKE A RIGHT GO READ THE BIBLE PEOPLE !!!WHILE YOU AT IT GET A LIFE!!

    1. Woodsider says:

      Amy you really need to reel your anger in a bit—- this low-life piece of garbage killed a kind, honorable, much loved MAN!! Notice I said MAN—-which is something this idiot who ran rather than face up to his crime will ever be called. If you want to quote the bible you better get to the part where it says “Thou shalt not KILL”.
      And, oh yeah, he does look like O.J. and now he going to wind up in the same penal system!!!!!

    2. punisher says:

      thats why we have jail to punish those that menace the life of others, this guy has a bad record and if you can behave properly in society then you need to be taken away from the people that try to make a living and care for others. no one of us should judge him, but is he a person who cares about anyone? why didnt people like him think of the consequences of their acts? why other people respect and others just dont give a damn…….sorry amy but i think you are not seeing the real picture what if the person who died was your mother? or someone you care for? would you then lose your mind and burst out of anger against someone like him or would you excuse him

    3. Chris says:

      Hispanic,black,white,asian,or purple. This guy deserves to go to prison for a long time.He destroyed a family and ended a good man’s life.

    4. James Hynes says:

      I knew George. He was a nice guy. a good guy. He didn’t deserve what happened to him. It doesn’t matter what Rodriguez looks like. his stupididy, his carelessness took a life. A life with potential. FOR NO REASON. Rodriguez is a bum who’s gonna get what’s comming to him.

      and yes he does look like OJ Simpson.

    5. Jane Doe says:

      hey amy if this was a white man that killed a black man rev al sharpton would have been all over this like white on rice. where was he now was this ever classified as a race crime? NO but it is amazing that if the shoe was on the other foot it would have been a race crime which makes me sick. Just like in any race you have your good and your bad and its also called freedom of speech everyone is entitled to their opinions.

  11. concerned patron of Gibbons says:

    I hope the family can finally find some closure. This person deserves a llife imprisonment sentence. I’m glad the suspect was found and I hope the family can go on with their lives as their brother would want them to.

    A concerned patron of Gibbons

  12. Killdee Mooleez says:

    How come all these criminals look just like OJ Simpson?

  13. Brendan Gillooly says:

    First step towards justice for a great man and family. Let’s hope the district attorney makes sure this guy goes away for along time. We don’t need a lowlife menace walking the streets of New York.

  14. Freedomwriter says:

    Rodriguez looks like a steroids abuser. He is a punk who needs to d*ie.

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