PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For Captain Joseph Bologna, it was a premonition that would prove true.
“The night before we made the arrest, I was driving home and I had this weird calm that came over me. I knew we were going to get the individual involved,” he said.
Finally, an arrest was made in the case of 8-year-old Jayanna Powell who had been killed by an hit and run driver at 63rd and Lansdowne Avenue on November 18th.
For the captain, it was personal. “This job has touched me and a lot of folks in the district in a unique way.” A little girl’s life had been snuffed away and she had been left for dead in the street.
Police found the striking car at an auto body shop in Malvern, which led them to 24-year-old Paul Woodlyn, now charged in the case.
In the weeks leading up to an arrest, the child’s tragic death galvanized a community with marches and calls for justice. Police believe community involvement made all the difference and helped lead them to an arrest. They hope it will make the difference in future hit and run case that often go unsolved.
“They’re going to stand up and speak up,” said Captain Bologna. “They’ll be more aware of what the license plate number is, or what direction was the car traveling.”
“We all came together and if we saw something we reported it. That’s what communities do,” said Kahn Purcell of Overbrook.
Neighbors are exhaling while still pushing for safer measures like lengthening traffic lights to allow safer crossing time for children.
“We all have had our eyes out as it relates to what’s going on with the kids,” said Atiyah Angela Havens.
While the memorial for the 8-year-old victim remains here at the scene, police tell us their investigation is ongoing.