The ex-con believed to be the hit-and-run driver who killed a young Brooklyn couple and their infant in a Williamsburg crash was taken into custody in Pennsylvania by the NYPD late Wednesday after a friend helped arrange his surrender, officials said.
Julio Acevedo, 44, surrendered to detectives in the parking lot of a minimart in Bethlehem, about 70 miles west of Manhattan, and awaits extradition to Brooklyn, perhaps as early as Thursday, an NYPD spokesman said.
Acevedo's arrest on charges of leaving the scene of an accident followed a day of continuous communication between the NYPD and Derrick Hamilton, a friend of Acevedo who earlier in the day was talking to detectives and later met police at Grand Central Terminal, police spokesman Paul Browne said.
Hamilton traveled from Connecticut and agreed to meet police at the rail terminal and accompany them to Pennsylvania, Browne said. Once Acevedo approached the unmarked police vehicle, he was placed under arrest on the one charge and handcuffed. It was unclear Wednesday if Hamilton would be able to claim any of the $20,000 reward in the case, Browne said.
The arrest gave some bittersweet satisfaction to Brooklyn's Satmar Hasidic community, which a few days ago buried the three accident victims: Nachman Glauber and his wife, Raizy, both 21, who died in the Sunday morning crash, and their son, who was delivered by Caesarean section after the crash but died a day later. All were buried at a Satmar cemetery near upstate Kiryas Joel.
"I can't say it's great, but it is at least at little good news that hit this community today," said Isaac Abraham, a spokesman and activist for the Hasidic community. "He gave himself up, he finally manned up and is going to face the music.
"Now we hope the DA throws the book at him," added Abraham. "It will be the trial of the century, not only for the community, but everybody else."
Abraham said authorities should treat as accomplices those who advised and helped Acevedo run to a place where police were not looking.
Abraham said he laughed when he heard media reports earlier this week that Acevedo was still in New York because he suspected the man had fled.
Those who assisted him may claim they were helping authorities, but they hurt the victims' families by taking the focus off the young couple, Abraham said.
"They might claim they helped the case, but for the community itself, it was very painful," he said. "The only question the community, family, friends and relatives asked every single minute of the day was 'Did they catch up to him yet?' "
Hours before Acevedo surrendered, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly said that Acevedo has not directly contacted police but acknowledged Acevedo's friend said the suspect wanted to surrender.
"He said the individual [Acevedo] wants to turn himself in and he was going to . . . today. No location was given, no time was given," said Kelly.
Kelly said Acevedo, who spent 10 years in state prison for a manslaughter conviction, could face additional charges after the Brooklyn district attorney's office reviews the case.
If Acevedo waives extradition, he could be brought back to Brooklyn for a possible court appearance Thursday, officials said. He already faces a drunken-driving case unrelated to the crash.
The owner of the BMW Acevedo was driving, Takia Walker of the Bronx, faces a charge of insurance fraud in connection with the vehicle, police said. A spokeswoman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said Wednesday the case against Walker was a deferred prosecution pending further investigation.
The death of the Glauber family came up Wednesday during the annual pre-Passover holiday briefing given by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the NYPD to the Jewish community. Kelly asked for a moment of silence before the briefing.
With Ellen Yan