Man arrested in hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj’s father, faces charges of leaving scene, tampering with evidence

The 70-year-old man arrested on Wednesday in the hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj’s father Robert Maraj stopped briefly to ask the injured man if he was okay but didn’t call for help, police said.

The Associated Press February 18, 2021 08:45:19 IST
Man arrested in hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj’s father, faces charges of leaving scene, tampering with evidence

A 70-year-old man arrested on Wednesday in the hit-and-run death of rapper Nicki Minaj’s father stopped briefly to ask the injured man if he was OK but didn’t call for help, police said.

Charles Polevich faces charges of leaving the scene of an incident and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the death last week of 64-year-old Robert Maraj on New York’s Long Island.

Polevich, who splits time between Long Island and Guam, where he runs an environmental consulting business, is free on bail following an arraignment in Nassau County court. As a result of his arrest, his driver’s license has been suspended, he was ordered to surrender his passport and a judge said he can’t leave the state.

“He was absolutely aware of what happened,” Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said at a news conference.

“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 dialling 911, instead of calling an ambulance for the man,” Fitzpatrick said. “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 and said their thoughts were with Maraj’s family.

Maraj was struck by a car at 6:15 p.m. Friday while walking along Roslyn Road in Mineola. He was taken to a hospital and was pronounced dead on Saturday.

Polevich exited his car after hitting Maraj, stood over him and asked if he was OK before walking back to his car and fleeing the scene, police said. Polevich went home and parked his car in a detached garage in an attempt to conceal it from view, police said.

Polevich surrendered Wednesday after detectives used pieces of surveillance video to track the car involved in the crash — a white, 1992 Volvo station wagon — to Polevich’s Mineola home, Fitzpatrick said.

Minaj, 38, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in the New York City borough of Queens. She has not made any public statement about her father’s death.

Minaj’s mother, Carol Maraj, told Newsday that the family was relieved a suspect was being charged in his death.

“I’m very, very, very happy about the arrest,” Carol Maraj said.

Minaj has spoken in the past about having a strained relationship with her father.
In interviews, she said Robert Maraj suffered from drug addiction and was abusive toward her mother, once setting fire to their house with her inside.

Minaj referenced her father in the 2008 song, Autobiography, rapping: “They shoulda thrown the book at you, ’cause I hate you so much that it burn when I look at you.”

Robert Maraj called his daughter’s claims “exaggerated.”

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

As future of podcasts booms, Hollywood uses the space as testing ground for bankable content
Entertainment

As future of podcasts booms, Hollywood uses the space as testing ground for bankable content

Hollywood is using the medium of #podcasts to test storylines for promising material, which can then be used for TV, films

Watch: T-series' Lut Gaye features Emraan Hashmi and Yukti Thareja in a star-crossed love story
Entertainment

Watch: T-series' Lut Gaye features Emraan Hashmi and Yukti Thareja in a star-crossed love story

Lut Gaye is composed by Tanishk Bagchi, penned by Manoj Muntashir and sung by Jubin Nautiyal.

Justin Bieber to release sixth studio album on 19 March; Holy, Lonely, among other tracks to feature
Entertainment

Justin Bieber to release sixth studio album on 19 March; Holy, Lonely, among other tracks to feature

"My goal is to make music that will provide comfort and that people can connect to, so they feel less alone," Justin Bieber writes, announcing his sixth studio album Justice.