Police have arrested the man who allegedly killed rapper Nicki Minaj's 64- old father Robert Maraj in a hit-and-run incident in New York that took place recently. Robert Maraj was walking along a road in Mineola on Long Island at 6:15 p.m on Friday when he was hit by a car that kept going, Nassau County police said. Maraj was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Saturday.
As per E! News, on Wednesday, Nassau County Police held a press conference where they announced the arrest of Charles Polevich. According to authorities, the 70-year-old was driving the vehicle that struck and killed Maraj on the evening of February 12.
After surrendering to the authorities, Polevich was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality and tampering with physical evidence. In a statement to the publication, Polevich's attorney, Michael A. Scotto, said, "It's a tragic accident and the Maraj family are in our thoughts." As per E! News, the man's bail is set to USD 250,000. Additionally, Polevich was ordered to surrender his passport, his driver's license has also been suspended and he has been asked to remain in New York for the duration of the case. His next court date is set for February 19.
Nassau County Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick claimed that Polevich was aware of Maraj's severe injuries and chose to flee the scene, describing at the press conference, "He got out of the car, looked at the deceased, got into his car and made the conscious decision to leave instead of dialing 911 and calling an ambulance for the man. He went home and secreted his vehicle."
Police said that Maraj, who was believed to be walking to a local store at the time of the accident, ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Polevich and his 1992 Volvo Station Wagon, which Fitzpatrick described as "more distinctive than modern cars," was located through traffic and security footage.
Authorities alleged that Polevich also took measures to "secrete his car from being found by police" by hiding it in a garage and covering it with a tarp. Minaj has not publicly addressed her father's demise yet, but her father's estranged wife, Carol Maraj, told Newsday his children "are pleased" to know the suspect has been arrested. She added, "I'm very, very, very happy about the arrest."
Previously, Minaj had opened up about how her father was abusive towards her mother, and recalled how he once set fire to their house while her mother was inside.
"I remember when my mother would let my father be violent with her and she always brings up this story about when I was a little girl and I would stand in front of my mother (with my arms out to protect her)," Minaj said in a clip that features in her documentary that she posted on Instagram in 2018.
Minaj, 38, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in the New York City borough of Queens. Minaj gave birth to her first son with her husband Kenneth Petty late last year. She has since dedicated her time to embracing motherhood.
- with ANI inputs