Authorities in Nassau County have made an arrest in the hit-run death of rapper Nicki Minaj's 64-year-old father, who was killed on Long Island less than a week ago, a police source with knowledge of the case told News 4 Wednesday.
Robert Maraj was walking on a road in Mineola at 6:15 p.m. Friday when he was hit by a car that kept going, Nassau County police had said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead the next day.
In a Wednesday press conference, Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Nassau Police homicide squad, said that the car apparently involved was a white 1992 Volvo station wagon.
Charles Polevich, 70, who does not have a prior criminal record and turned himself in to police will be charged with leaving the scene of an auto accident with a fatality as well as tampering with evidence because, according to Fitzpatrick, he took the vehicle involved in the incident and did things to it in order to hide the car.
After the incident occured, the police searched the area of the hit-and-run for evidence, including surveillance video. Because the vehicle allegedly involved in the hit-and-run is distinctive due to it being an older model, Fitzpatrick said police were able to track it prior and after the incident, eventually leading them to its driver and his subsequent arrest.
Fitzpatrick made a point to stress had Polevich, a citizen of Guam who has a home in Mineola, stayed at the scene, he would likely not be facing charges in connection to the incident.
Polevich's attorney, Michael Scotto, called the incident a "tragic accident" and offered his thoughts and prayers to the Maraj family. He said his client had pleaded not guilty had been released on bail.
Nicki Minaj, 38, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in the New York City borough of Queens.
Fitzpatrick said police have been in constant contact with Maraj's family regarding the incident. Minaj has not made any public statement about her father's death. An email seeking comment was sent to a representative for Minaj.