An alleged hit-and-run driver who allegedly killed rapper Nicki Minaj’s father in Mineola last week has surrendered to Nassau County police, authorities said.
Charles Polevich, 70, was charged with leaving the scene of an auto accident with a fatality, and tampering with evidence in the death of 64-year-old Robert Maraj, who was walking Northbound on Roslyn Avenue when he was struck.
“It would have been an accident, an auto accident, with no charges if he would’ve stayed,” Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commander of the Homicide Squad, told reporters Wednesday during a news conference at police headquarters in Mineola.
Investigators said that Polevich stepped out of the car, saw that he had hit Maraj, and allegedly fled the scene before trying to hide the damage to the vehicle.
Detectives used surveillance footage of the surrounding area to track the 1992 white Volvo station wagon in the hours leading up to the crime and afterward, leading them to the suspect’s home, police said.
Fitzpatrick mentioned there was no way to tell if Polevich was under the influence at the time of the crash due to the fact that he fled the scene. Fitzpatrick said there was no evidence the driver had been at a bar.
Polevich has no criminal record and no notable past driver’s license history. He owns a house in Mineola and resides in Guam, a U.S. territory. He has not given a statement or any further comments to police.
Polevich was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead, where he pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $250,000 bond, $125,000 cash, or $1.25 million bond. He is set to return to court on Feb. 19.