A 29-year-old North Philadelphia man has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, and related offenses in a hit-and-run that critically injured a Temple University student in April, police said Tuesday.
Saleem Harville, of the 1200 block of West Harold Street, was arrested last month after police received an anonymous tip about him after they had released video of the suspected driver.
The victim, Emily Ocelus, 21, of Worcester Township, Montgomery County, has been released from Temple University Hospital and is at a rehabilitation facility, her aunt, Jennifer Kidwell, said Tuesday. “Her biggest long-term injury is with her one knee,” said Kidwell, who added that while Ocelus can’t yet walk on her own, she is expected to be able to do so some day.
At Temple and at the rehab facility, Ocelus has not been allowed to have visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic, adding to her emotional setbacks, her aunt said.
Harville was also charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, two counts of simple assault, and related offenses in connection with an alleged carjacking moments before he allegedly struck Ocelus.
About 10 p.m. April 17, Harville crashed his SUV into a car on 17th Street near Diamond. He then got out of the SUV and jumped into the backseat of another car driven by a 23-year-old woman, who had seen the accident in her rearview mirror while on 17th Street. He ordered her to drive, but she refused, and he pushed her and her front-seat passenger out of the car and drove away, police said.
Several blocks later, while speeding and driving the wrong way on the 1500 block of Willington Street, police said, he struck Ocelus, who was about to get into her friend’s parked car.
A short while later, he crashed in an abandoned lot on Smedley Street and ran away, police said.
Ocelus suffered severe trauma to her legs, a broken pelvis, and a large cut to one leg.