A Philadelphia man has been charged with attempted murder and other crimes in connection with a series of hit-and-run crashes earlier this week that began in Center City and ended in Montgomery County.
Kareem Welton, 40, of South Philadelphia, is accused of intentionally hitting six people between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday. A woman — 31-year-old Point Breeze resident Andrina Moreno-Sanchez — was killed in the spree.
Police said a stolen car, with Welton allegedly behind the wheel, struck a motorcycle with two people on it just after 2 a.m. near the corner of Broad and Lombard streets in Center City. One of the riders was hospitalized, though she is expected to recover.
A short time later, the car drove up onto the sidewalk at 15th and South streets and hit two people who were walking, including Moreno-Sanchez. Investigators said Welton turned around and ran her over a second time.
Welton allegedly fled the area on foot and stole a second vehicle.
Then, he drove to Manayunk and hit a pedestrian in the area of Umbria and Hermitage streets, according to police. The man was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.
Just before 6 a.m., a 38-year-old runner was struck by a car on Main Street in Collegeville, authorities in Montgomery County said. He was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries, including a broken spine and fractured ribs.
Law enforcement apprehended Welton after he pulled into a gas station in the nearby town of Trappe. Before the arrest, Welton grabbed a puppy from the back seat and attempted to steal a bicycle, investigators said.
“This defendant was not only driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed, but he intentionally targeted the runner and hit him, attempting to kill him,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said in a statement.
“The intention to kill and seriously injure people can be seen in the defendant’s actions throughout the night,” he added.
Welton’s legal counsel could not be identified Thursday.
He has been dealing with mental health issues and family members had tried to have him involuntarily committed to a hospital, Welton’s aunt told CBS3.
Welton, for the hit-and-run in Collegeville, has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. He is expected to face a slew of charges once he is formally arrested by Philadelphia police.
A judge on Wednesday set Welton’s bail at $2 million, according to court records.