NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City man with a lengthy criminal record surrendered to police on Wednesday, ending a manhunt for the driver who fled a hit-and-run car crash that killed a young Orthodox Jewish couple and whose baby was later delivered by C-section but then died, police said.
Julio Acevedo, 44, of Brooklyn, surrendered shortly after 5 p.m. EST to New York City detectives in the parking lot of a convenience store in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said New York City Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.
The meeting between the suspect and police had been arranged with the help of one of Acevedo’s friends, Browne said.
The victims, Raizy and Nachman Glauber, were both 21-year-olds from a close-knit Orthodox Jewish enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who were expecting their first child.
They were on the way to the hospital when their taxi was hit broadside by a gray BMW sedan just after midnight on Sunday morning, police said. The BMW driver fled the scene on foot.
The Glauber baby was delivered on Sunday by Cesarean section at Bellevue Hospital, where the mother had been pronounced dead on arrival, police said. But the newborn boy died early on Monday.
Family friends said the birth of the newborn had been a ray of hope - hope that was crushed when the baby boy died of his injuries the following day. They said Raizy Glauber was about six months pregnant and had wanted to go to the hospital because she was not feeling well.
Police had launched a manhunt for Acevedo, whom a witness picked out of a photo lineup.
Acevedo had been arrested in February for drunk driving and then released, police said. He has a lengthy criminal record that includes murder, robbery and weapons possession, police said.
“We had learned earlier today of his whereabouts in Pennsylvania,” Browne said. “We were assisted by his friend.”
Witnesses said the BMW had been speeding, and the taxi was at a stop sign when the accident occurred, police said.
Acevedo was placed in handcuffs and charged with leaving the scene of a vehicular accident, Browne said, adding he did not have an attorney with him.
Weightier charges will be up to the Brooklyn district attorney, he said.
”It’s a sweet, bitter pill to swallow,“ said family friend and community leader Isaac Abraham. ”Sweet because it’s at least the best news we have heard in the last 72 hours, but it’s bitter because it doesn’t bring any of three people that were murdered back.
“I hope they throw the book at him,” he added.
Acevedo was taken to Pennsylvania state barracks in Bethlehem, where he is being held pending extradition to New York, Browne said.
Browne said he did not know what connection, if any, Acevedo had with Bethlehem, a small city in eastern Pennsylvania that lies about 90 miles west of New York City.
Acevedo spoke by telephone to the New York Daily News which said in an article on Tuesday that Acevedo claimed he was fleeing gunshots when the accident occurred.
Acevedo also spoke to local television on Tuesday and said he was planning to surrender.
He said he fled the scene of the accident because he was afraid of being shot, the newspaper reported.
The telephone interview was arranged with the help of the same friend, Derrick Hamilton, the newspaper said.
The newspaper said the two were former cellmates. Acevedo served a stint in prison for murder in the 1990s.
Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Andrew Hay; desking by G Crosse