Police ID Suspect In Deadly North Philadelphia Chase; Family Speaks Out

By Jericka Duncan, Mike Dougherty, Oren Liebermann

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 2001 silver Volkswagen Passat did not belong to Gregory Alston, 39, but police say he sped off with it anyway. Police say they pulled him over for traffic violation, but instead of stopping, they say he flashed a gun and drove off, tearing down Ontario Street. Alston’s parents defended their son.

“Gregory is not a bad guy. I don’t know what happened,” said his stepfather, Marvin Palmer, standing behind a screen door at his house on Fernhill Road.

gregory alston Police ID Suspect In Deadly North Philadelphia Chase; Family Speaks Out

(Credit: Philadelphia Police)

The car chase ended at 10th and Ontario, when police say Alston crashed into a Honda Accord, killing a man in the passenger seat and sending the driver and a four-year-old boy to the hospital.

“If he’s this good guy you’re making him out to be, why did he run?” asked Eyewitness News reporter Oren Liebermann.

“I have no idea,” responded his stepfather.

“He was just scared because he was driving a car without a license,” said his mother Deborah Alston.

But the chase was not over yet. Police say Alston got out of his car after the deadly crash and ran into a nearby lot. The police helicopter light was on him as he tried to get away, running around to the backside of a building before finally giving up. Police were on him in seconds. He was apprehended in the 900 block of West Russell Street.

Alston’s mother says there’s no excuse for what he’s accused of doing.

“I’m going to let him know to pray and that one thing he did take another person’s life.”

Alston’s parents say he got out of jail about six months ago after spending a year locked up on drug charges. And court records show he’s been in and out of jail since his early 20’s on drug and assault charges.

The front-seat passenger that was killed in the crash has been identified as 36-year-old Danny Irizarry Roman from the 4800 block of North 8th Street.

The driver of the tan Honda Accord, the 26-year-old female, is recovering in critical but stable condition at Temple University Hospital. The four-year-old child is recovering in stable condition at CHOP.

Alston, from the 4500 block of Fernhill Street, is charged with: Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, and Homicide by Vehicle, Aggravated Assault, Fleeing Police, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act and a slew of related offenses.

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One Comment

  1. Showtime226 says:

    Probably a good guy to his parents but not to anyone else. Bye!

  2. molladepapi says:

    this is my family he ruined.. my niece has to wake up from coma ,when she wakes up, to hear your husband died, possibly burried by the time she wakes. lil man has to live without his father. Good guy? really.. the good guy was the one who he killed and took from his family while on their way home from dinner with friends..

  3. sunflower says:

    This is WHY police chases should be ILLEGAL. They did NOT have to pursue this unless there is a kidnapped child in that car other than that THERE IS NO REASON to put my our CHILDRENS lives at risk.

    1. Bill H says:

      Really so now anyione who robs, murders, steals etc can just get in a car drive fast and get away with it. Are you that stupid or maybe You are a criminal.

    2. brutus says:

      What about the gun,come on,hes the danger you would let escape.Get real!”

    3. michael john says:

      this is a very good point!

  4. Mike says:

    “Gregory is not a bad guy. I don’t know what happened,” all nice people steal and flash guns at police. Let’s not forget all nice people are in and out of jail their entire adult life. These are choices he made, no one forced him to behave like this. Stop making excuses for criminals. Create the “Productive Work Camp” for these antisocial criminals, at least they would benefit the society that they have tried so hard to destroy.

  5. mattstearns says:

    39years old, in and out of jail. the sad thing he will plead guilty to this crime and be on the streets by the time he is fifty. This family he hit will never get closure.

  6. joe morris says:

    I can’t believe these so called people. According tho their kind, they are all wonderful.

    1. michael john says:

      try living on the same street with them!! fernhill road is either

      – empty decaying houses, with some already sealed by L & I
      – aging welfare scroungers and their 40 year old “children”
      – hoodlums
      – and then a few middle class oddballs and urban homesteaders like me, because the houses are very cheap!

      get what i paid for…

  7. EG says:

    Hey, family……your “baby boy” is 39 years old. Stupid idiots.

    That is the problem….do wrong, get off; do good, get nothing.

    1. michael john says:

      do good, have the neighbors call the police 4 times in 2 days because 911 is a toy and they dont like white people making improvements and cleaning up the area.

      same so-called neighbors leave notes in everyone’s doors about “the children” and “save the block” – now i know the kids they meant were 40 years old!

  8. EG says:

    Hey, family……your “baby boy” is 39 years old. Stupid idiots.

  9. EG says:

    Defend their idiotic moronic morally corrupt son…..damn; driving without a license is a far less offense than MURDER; he stole a car, drove without a license, killed a man, injured a four year old child, and his family defends him…..he deserves the same as the people he inflicted his idiocy on…….stupid family…….bring him chocolate chip cookies, which I hope he chokes on. How about the other families…..have a little humility.

  10. daniel smith says:

    if you haven’t noticed yet, people are being made to feel like victims, criminals. like the best one can do is to not get arrested, etc.

  11. Peter says:

    In and out of jail but “not a bad guy.”

  12. dmac says:

    that’s crazy

  13. Chip says:

    I was driving on broad going north and saw the whole thing, over 70 cop cars responded just flying down broad, some diverting to side streets. Never saw such a large response in my life.

    1. Tee says:

      same here…I was like Whoa, what the hell is going on around here?!

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