NEW YORK (AP) — A man suspected of fleeing the scene of a grisly crash in New York City that killed a pregnant woman and her husband was arrested at a convenience store in northeastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday after a friend arranged his surrender with New York authorities.
Julio Acevedo, 44, walked to officers waiting in cars in the parking lot in Bethlehem, Pa., and was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, said Paul Browne, chief spokesman for the New York Police Department. Acevedo, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, said nothing to officers who took him into custody, Browne said.
The surrender, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m., was brokered by a friend who had been in touch with police earlier in the day. The friend met officers at New York's Grand Central Station, then led them to Acevedo in Bethlehem, about 80 miles away, police said.
Acevedo was being held by Pennsylvania State Police and was awaiting extradition to New York. Browne said it wasn't clear when he would be returned.
It also wasn't clear if Acevedo had an attorney. The friend had told police that Acevedo would surrender after consulting a lawyer, but none was with him when he turned himself in, Browne said.
Acevedo allegedly was speeding down a Brooklyn street at 60 mph early Sunday when he crashed into a car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21. They died Sunday, and their premature son died Monday.
Acevedo told the Daily News that he was fleeing a gunman who was trying to shoot at him when his borrowed BMW slammed into a hired car carrying the couple. He told the newspaper he fled because he was worried he'd be killed. But police said there were no reports of shots fired in the area at the time of the wreck.
The tragedy unfolded shortly after midnight Sunday, when Raizy Glauber, who was seven months pregnant, decided to go to the hospital because she wasn't feeling well, her family said. They called a livery cab, a hired car that is arranged via telephone, not hailed off the street like a yellow cab.
The crash with the BMW reduced the cab to a crumpled heap, and Raizy Glauber was thrown from the wreck. The engine ended up in the back seat. The driver of the livery cab was knocked unconscious but was not seriously hurt.
The couple belonged to a close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, which is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect. Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family. Her husband was studying at a rabbinical college; his family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews.
The child was delivered by cesarean section after his parents were killed. The baby weighed only about 4 pounds when he was delivered, neighbors and friends said. He died of extreme prematurity, the city medical examiner's office said.
The baby was buried Monday near his parents' graves, according to a spokesman for the Hasidic Jewish community. About a thousand community members turned out for the young couple's funeral a day earlier.
Word of Acevedo's arrest was met with bittersweet satisfaction in the Glaubers' community.
"It's a sweet bitter pill to swallow," said Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the community. "It's a little good news that at least the man responsible has been arrested, but it doesn't bring any of the victims back."
He added that community members hoped Acevedo would face murder charges. "We in the community hope that today is Acevedo's last day that he sees daylight for the rest of his life," he said.
Acevedo was arrested last month on a charge of driving while under the influence, and the case is pending. He was stopped by police after they said he was driving erratically around 3 a.m. Feb. 17. He had a blood-alcohol level of .13, over the limit of .08, police said.
He served about a decade in prison in the 1990s for manslaughter after he was convicted of shooting Kelvin Martin, a Brooklyn criminal whose moniker "50 Cent" was the inspiration for rapper Curtis Jackson's current stage name.
How Acevedo came to possess the BMW is under investigation. The registered owner was arrested Sunday on insurance fraud charges related to the vehicle, but the case was deferred.
Associated Press Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.