A month to the day after he allegedly killed the owner of a popular Maspeth bar in a hit-and-run accident, which sparked a massive neighborhood campaign to bring him to justice, Peter Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday morning in Connecticut, police said.
The streets of Maspeth and surrounding areas were blanketed with Rodriguez’s mugshot on fliers offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction after Gibbons’ Home bar owner George Gibbons, Jr. died in the accident.
Rodriguez was allegedly driving the wrong way Oct. 15 on the Long Island Expressway near 58th Road and hit a livery cab in which Gibbons was riding, according to police. Gibbons was taken to Elmhurst Hospital shortly after the accident, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 37.
Police said Rodriguez was apprehended in Connecticut by the Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Gibbons’ brother, Brendan Gibbons, said Rodriguez was arrested on a parole violation and said the NYPD told him they had received a tip on the 36-year-old suspect’s whereabouts.
Brendan Gibbons said he believed the tip was called in due to media coverage or the posters and fliers that were put up in Maspeth.
The Gibbons family, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and community leaders gathered at the Maspeth Triangle by Grand Avenue and the Long Island Expressway Sunday to prod the community to come forward with information on Rodriguez.
“Myself and my family are currently happy to see that he’s in custody,” Brendan Gibbons said Tuesday. “At least it gives us some sort of justice to see that he’s not roaming the streets. Obviously, we have a long road ahead of us, but for myself and my family, we’re happy to see he’s in custody.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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