Julio Acevedo in an undated photo. (New York Police Department )
NEW YORK — A four-day search for the man suspected in a hit-and-run crash that took three lives ended in a Pennsylvania parking lot Wednesday when he surrendered to New York police.
Julio Acevedo, 44, was charged with leaving the scene of a vehicular accident, which killed a young New York couple and caused the premature birth and subsequent death of their baby. He was being held in Pennsylvania until he could be returned to New York, where prosecutors will decide whether additional charges should be filed.
His surrender culminated a carefully orchestrated event that began several hours earlier at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. There, police met Acevedo's friend, Derrick Hamilton, whom police spokesman Paul Browne described as a facilitator.
Hamilton rode with law enforcement officials about 90 miles west to Bethlehem, Pa., where Acevedo was waiting at a mini-mart. A police detective and a U.S. deputy marshal handcuffed him and took him into custody shortly after 5 p.m., ending the search that had captivated New York since the violent crash wiped out a budding family early Sunday.
Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, were headed to a hospital because Raizy had complained of stomach pains. At an intersection in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the couple lived, a speeding BMW slammed into their cab, killing the Glaubers. Their baby boy survived an emergency caesarean section but died the next day. The cab driver survived.
Witnesses saw the BMW driver flee on foot, and police later identified him as Acevedo. In 1987, Acevedo was convicted of manslaughter and served 10 years in prison. He was released but sent back for a parole violation, then was released again in 1999. Acevedo also was arrested last month on a charge of driving under the influence.
Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the Hasidic Jewish community to which the Glaubers belonged, has said Acevedo should be charged with three counts of homicide. After the arrest, he told the Associated Press, "We in the community hope that today is Acevedo's last day that he sees daylight for the rest of his life."
Acevedo has insisted he meant no harm and did not know the couple was dead when he ran from the scene. In interviews with various news organizations, Acevedo has insisted he was driving fast that night to get away from someone who had fired a gun at him.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said there were no reports of gunfire in the area at the time Acevedo claims to have been targeted.
Acevedo's wife told WABC-TV in New York shortly before his arrest that she was afraid for her own and her family's safety because of the community's rage. "He is not a monster," Dorothy Acevedo said of her husband as she draped a blue sweater over her head to conceal her face.