MINEOLA, N.Y. — A 70-year-old man was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run death of Robert Maraj, the father of rapper Nicki Minaj, authorities said Wednesday.
Charles Povelich, 70, who splits his time between Minneola, New York, and Guam, was charged with leaving the scene of an incident and tampering with physical evidence, WNBC reported.
Povelich is free on bail after an arraignment in a Nassau County court, according to The Associated Press. His driver’s license has been suspended, and Povelich is forbidden to leave the state.
According to police during a news conference, Polevich exited his car after striking Maraj, stood over the man and asked if he was OK before leaving the scene.
“He was absolutely aware of what happened,” Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick told reporters. “He got out of the car and he looked at the deceased, got into his car, and made the conscious decision to leave instead of dialing 911, instead of calling an ambulance for the man.
“He went home and secluded the vehicle. He’s well aware of what he did.”
Polevich’s lawyer, Michael Scotto, described what happened as a tragic accident, according to the AP. Scotto added that their thoughts were with Maraj’s family.
Fitzpatrick said that the car apparently involved was a white 1992 Volvo station wagon, WNBC reported. Povelich surrendered Wednesday after detectives used pieces of surveillance video to track the car to his home, Fitzpatrick said.
“We were able to track that vehicle prior to the accident as well as after the accident, and we kind of tracked it right to his house,” Fitzpatrick said.
Polevich is due back in court on Friday, WABC reported.