BROOKLYN (PIX11) - Police have taken a man into custody in connection with a Brooklyn hit-and-run that left one child dead and two others in critical condition.
Police say 26-year-old Robert Decarlo has a lengthy rap sheet. He faced heroin and other drug charges twice this year and a little over a month ago, he was arrested for snatching a 65-year-old woman’s wallet and kicking her to the ground.
Wednesday afternoon, cops say Decarlo crashed a stolen van into a mother and her two children as they waited for the bus at Flatlands Avenue and East 46th Street, killing 12-year-old Joey Sellers and critically injuring her mother and 9-year-old sister.
The victims' family says Decarlo should have been behind bars.
"How come this guy was on the street to end up doing what he did just now?" said Olnde Pierre.
Police say the 2005 Dodge Caravan was snatched less than a mile from Decarlo's Bensonhurst home. Witnesses to the crash rushed to lift the van off one of the children pinned beneath it. Witnesses say after mowing the family down, Decarlo ran away.
Mitch Guejust chased after him. "[He was] tearing through backyards, jumping over fences," Guejust said.
"I have a little girl the same age," Guejust added through tears. "My daughter is eight...it could have been her. It's sad. This guy needs to be arrested and put away for good."
Family members tell PIX11 the mother is recovering at Kings County Hospital and is expected to be OK. The nine-year-old underwent neurological surgery Thursday at a Manhattan hospital.
No funeral plans have been set yet for her 12-year-old sister.