He "made the conscious decision to leave instead of dialing 911 and calling an ambulance for the man," police officials said Wednesday

By Tomás Mier
February 17, 2021 01:45 PM
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Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj
| Credit: Anthony Harvey/Getty

The man who killed Nicki Minaj's father in a hit-and-run has been arrested.

On Wednesday, Nassau County Police announced the arrest of 70-year-old Charles Polevich, who was allegedly driving the vehicle that struck Robert Maraj on Friday night. He's being charged with leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality and tampering with evidence.

Polevich — who later surrendered — fled the scene after initially stopping and noticing that Maraj, 64, was significantly injured or dead, according to police. (Maraj was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.)

"He's absolutely aware of what happened," Nassau County Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said at a 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."

Rapper Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj
| Credit: Paul Zimmerman/Getty

Polevich, who resides in Guam but has a house in Mineola, was driving a 1992 Volvo Station Wagon, a car that's "more distinctive than modern cars," according to Fitzpatrick. Using video footage from the neighboring cameras, police were able to trace the vehicle back to Polevich's address.

"He did things to alter us from being able to discover the car," Fitzpatrick said, describing that the driver hid his car under a tarp.

Maraj was walking on the street of Roslyn Road heading northbound when he was struck by Polevich around 6 p.m. on Friday.

"We were able to track that vehicle prior to the accident as well as after the accident and we just tracked it to his house," Fitzpatrick said.

"I'm very, very, very happy about the arrest," Maraj's estranged wife Carol told Newsday.

Following arraignment in Nassau County court, Polevich is free on $250,000 bail. His driver's license has been suspended as a result of his arrest, the Associated Press reports, and he was ordered to surrender his passport and must remain in New York state.

Polevich will next appear in court on Feb. 26.