PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A man wanted in several hit-and-runs in Philadelphia, including one in Center City where police say he ran over a woman twice and killed her, was arrested in Collegeville, Montgomery County, on Wednesday morning.
According to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, Kareem Welton is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.READ MORE: President Biden Approves Disaster Funding For Two More Pennsylvania Counties
The wild chain of events started just after 2 a.m. at Broad and Lombard Streets.
Police say a Chevy Malibu rear-ended a motorcycle carrying a 29-year-old driver and a 28-year-old passenger, then left the scene. The man who was driving that motorcycle is OK. His female passenger was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Fortunately, she only suffered some bumps and bruises.
Just two blocks away, police say Welton then struck a 32-year-old woman who was walking home from work. She was on the sidewalk near 15th and South Streets, when the car jumped the curb and hit her. That woman’s friend, who was with her at the time, was able to dive out of the way. He is OK.
But police say Welton turned around and ran the woman over a second time.
“What’s very unusual is, according to witnesses and the male that was with the female, after striking this female on the curb, the vehicle continued south about a half-block then turned around and went northbound on the same sidewalk and ran the female over striking her a second time,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The woman was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after.
The victim worked at Steak 48 in Center City.
Their corporate office released this statement: “Our employees are like family to us here at Steak 48. Our hearts and thoughts are with the family, friends and employees impacted by this devastating tragedy.”
Due to the tragic loss, Steak 48 canceled all of their reservations for Wednesday evening.
Investigators say witnesses from both scenes identified the same car.
Police say they then found the striking vehicle, a Chevy Malibu, ditched at Broad and South Streets.
Police say they have surveillance video of Welton exiting that car shirtless, then leaving the scene. Police say he may have been under the influence.READ MORE: 'My House Was Targeted': Philadelphia Anti-Violence Activist Speaks Out After Home Firebombed
That lines up with what a family member of Welton’s told CBS3. A relative wanted to remain anonymous but says he was having a psychotic episode. They told Eyewitness News authorities were called for a mental health check earlier in the day, but it was denied.
“They, nobody wanted the job and it took this to happen, man,” the family member told CBS3. “It’s sad, man.”
Investigators say the Chevy Malibu was stolen overnight.
Police say Welton then stole another vehicle. He struck another pedestrian near Umbria and Hermitage Streets in Manayunk. This pedestrian was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Welton then went to Collegeville, according to police, where he struck a fifth person. The jogger suffered a broken spine and fractures to his ribs and legs.
Welton was arrested in Montgomery County where he is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder.
The alleged lack of response from law enforcement frustrates even those close to the suspect.
“It could’ve been avoided, man. It could’ve been avoided,” the family member said.
“His oldest brother tried to 302 him a couple of days ago and they wouldn’t 302 him and he was starting those psychotic episodes then,” said Denise Welton, the suspect’s aunt. “My heart goes out to the young lady whose life was taken and all the other people who were injured by my nephew, but my nephew is not like that.”
Welton’s aunt says her nephew appeared to be acting abnormally on Tuesday. The family called the police, but there was no response.
“He was screaming and hollering and in the zone, sweat pouring off him like he had buckets of water on top of his head,” she said.
Welton’s family took him to the hospital, but he was later released.
“I don’t understand why they didn’t allow him to get the help that he needed when he was taken to the hospital,” Denise Welton said.
Philadelphia police say they are looking into those 302 calls. As of now, this is all still under investigation.MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming?
CBS3’s Jan Carabeo, Howard Monroe and Wakisha Bailey contributed to this report.