Here’s the Guy Who Hit a Kid With an SUV in Kensington
If you see Vince Broomall behind the wheel of a car, you might want to get out of his way. Philly Mag has learned that the 26-year-old Aston resident was the one driving the SUV (his mom’s SUV, by the way) that hit an 11-year-old boy in Kensington on Tuesday, May 16th. And while Broomall hasn’t been arrested or charged in last week’s incident, he has had some run-ins with the cops related to his driving.
Surveillance video of the incident in Kensington:
The day before Broomall jumped a curb, dinged a car, knocked over a tree, and hit a kid, he appeared in court in Philadelphia in a 2016 DUI case.
Last July on 63rd Street in Southwest Philadelphia, Philly police arrested Broomall and charged him with a DUI. At last Monday’s court hearing, the judge in the case granted a continuance, and the District Attorney’s office is appealing an earlier order to suppress blood evidence in the case. Broomall is out on $5,000 bail.
Back in 2012, Broomall was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and a DUI involving a controlled substance after he crashed his car near the airport. The District Attorney’s office gave him a plea deal, and Broomall was sentenced to a maximum of six days in jail. According to court records, he still owes more than $1,750 in court fines and fees in that case, and he hasn’t made a payment since 2013.
“I don’t understand why he wasn’t arrested,” says Margaret Saurman, the mother of the boy, who managed to escape serious injury. “What’s going to happen the next time this guy is driving a car?”
Bystanders, who declined to be identified, told Philly Mag that immediately after the collision, the SUV proceeded down the street, the driver tossed something from the vehicle, and a passenger jumped out to see if the boy was OK. The SUV then drove off but — with two blown-out tires — didn’t get very far. Neighbors followed the car around the corner and down an alley, and the driver then returned to the scene of the accident by foot. One of the witnesses immediately went looking for the object allegedly tossed from the SUV and came back with four unused bags of heroin.
Saurman and her neighbors are outraged that police let Broomall go last Tuesday. The way they see it, he came into the neighborhood, had drugs on him, hit a kid, and then tried to get away.
But the cops say that it’s not as simple as all that.
First of all, the drugs weren’t found in his possession, and he did not appear to be in any way intoxicated at the scene, according to a police report. He told police that he lost control of the SUV when he reached down to grab a water bottle from the floor of the car.
And while the neighbors are calling this a hit-and-run, a police spokesperson told Philly Mag that Broomall told them that he drove away only because bystanders were threatening him, an accusation that all of the witnesses we spoke with flatly deny.
They’re also upset because the first cop who responded to the scene refused to confiscate the heroin that one of the eyewitnesses retrieved from the ground. Eventually, a police supervisor did come out and take possession the drugs.
Saurman says that although police didn’t arrest Broomall, she’s considering filing a private criminal complaint with the District Attorney’s office, which could result in charges.
“He’s very sorry that the kid was hurt,” says attorney David Conroy, who is representing Broomall in the 2016 DUI arrest. “But this was just an unfortunate accident.”
When we asked Conroy why in the world Broomall would drive away from the scene, he echoed the police department’s answer: “He got spooked,” says Conroy. “There were a bunch of people there, yelling at him and threatening him, and so he drove away, but he did come back.” (Again, the neighbors say that no one threatened Broomall and claim that he only came back after the SUV got stranded in a nearby alley with two blown-out tires.)
As for the object that eyewitnesses claim was tossed out of the SUV as Broomall began to drive away, Conroy seemed a bit confused on that point.
“How are they going to see something like that in the middle of the night?” Conroy asked. “And why didn’t the cops find it when they got there? If the neighbors saw it, why didn’t the neighbors pick it up?”
We pointed out to Conroy that the incident took place in the morning, in broad daylight, that the neighbors did pick up the heroin immediately, and that the police did take the heroin from the neighbors, albeit after a lot of reluctance to do so.
“Oh,” Conroy replied after a pause. “He didn’t have any narcotics on him. He was not intoxicated in any way.”
Well, one thing’s for sure. Broomall will do well to stay as far away from Kensington as possible on Tuesday night. At 7:30 p.m. at Cione Playground, Philadelphia Police Captain Krista Dahl-Campbell is scheduled meet with residents about their concerns, of which there are many.
“I’m going over with a big group of people,” says Saurman. “And they’re all angry. We just don’t understand why anything was handled this way. It’s ridiculous.”
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