Login Get News Updates
For local news delivered via email enter address here:
Profile Subscriptions Mobile Tablet
Front Page November 3, 2011  RSS feed

Maspeth Looks For Justice

Reward To Find Hit-And-Run Driver
by Robert Pozarycki


Peter Rodriquez Peter Rodriquez Family members and friends of a Maspeth man killed in a hit-and-run crash on a neighborhood street last month joined elected officials in announcing on Tuesday morning, Nov. 1, a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect wanted for the incident.


Surrounded by local activists and family and friends of the late George Gibbons, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (at microphone) and Rep. Joseph Crowley announced at Maspeth Memorial Park on Tuesday morning, Nov. 1, the creation of a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Peter Rodriquez, who is wanted in connection with the fatal hit-and-run crash that took Gibbons’ life last month. 
(photo: Nicholas Biondo) Surrounded by local activists and family and friends of the late George Gibbons, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (at microphone) and Rep. Joseph Crowley announced at Maspeth Memorial Park on Tuesday morning, Nov. 1, the creation of a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Peter Rodriquez, who is wanted in connection with the fatal hit-and-run crash that took Gibbons’ life last month. (photo: Nicholas Biondo) 
George Gibbons George Gibbons City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Rep. Joseph Crowley stated that a group of local interests have put up $10,000 in reward money in the hope of capturing the suspect, identified by police as 36- year-old Peter Rodriquez, whose last known residence was in Brooklyn.

According to police, Rodriquez was behind the wheel of a 2002 Chrysler that was going in the wrong direction on the eastbound Queens Midtown Expressway near 58th Road at around 6:40 a.m. on Oct. 15 when it collided head on with a livery cab traveling in the proper direction.

Maspeth resident George Gibbons, 37, who also owned the Gibbons Home tavern on 69th Street, was riding in the livery cab and fatally injured in the crash. The taxi driver was also hospitalized with serious injuries.

Law enforcement sources said that Rodriquez fled from the scene on foot shortly after the accident. A 44- year-old man who was riding along with him was hospitalized with injuries sustained in the crash and later charged for allegedly being in possession of marijuana.

Gibbons had gained a reputation as a “well-known and respected lifelong resident of the neighborhood,” Council Member Crowley noted. In the days following the accident, family members along local businesses and community groups formed The George Gibbons Reward Fund in an effort to help police track down the suspect responsible for his death.

The fund is supported by both Crowleys and Maspeth Federal Savings Bank and Maspeth Town Hall, among other groups.

“George Gibbons was adored and respected in Maspeth,” Council Member Crowley said. “The community has shown an outpouring of support in donating toward a reward that will hopefully bring some leads to the NYPD and some peace of mind to the Gibbons family by capturing the person who committed this horrendous crime.”

“While nothing will bring George back, his family and friends deserve answers and closure,” added Representative Crowley on Tuesday morning’s press conference at Maspeth Memorial Park. “Hopefully today’s event will bring much-needed attention to this case and encourage people who have information about Mr. Rodriquez to contact the authorities. I also want to thank Maspeth Federal Savings bank and the other local businesses for offering this reward. Their generosity demonstrates just how much our community can do when we come together.”

“Our family feels lost, empty and numb,” said Bernadette Gibbons, George Gibbons’ sister. “This suspect has selfishly robbed our family and our community of our dear brother George. Please assist us in finding this coward.”

If and when the reward is paid out, any unused funds will be provided to the George Gibbons Foundation, which has been established to help local groups in Maspeth.

Police noted that the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with any information regarding Rodriquez’s whereabouts that could prove helpful is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577- TIPS. Information may also be sent to Crime Stoppers by text message to 274637 (enter information, followed by the code TIP577) or online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

All calls and messages will be kept confidential.