The bizarre turn of events began early Sunday in Maryland, with two Polish-speaking roommates fighting over a television set.
It ended yesterday in Bucks County, where one of the men was found dead in the trunk of a car. The other was arrested on a fugitive warrant seeking his return to Maryland, where murder charges await.
Michal Tuminski, 54, was taken into custody yesterday morning in Morrisville. He was being held without bail last night pending extradition to Maryland, where he is accused of killing Slawek Grabowski of North East, a town at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, about 50 miles from both Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Police found Grabowski's body in Tuminski's dark gray Hyundai, parked in an alley behind a duplex on Delaware Avenue in Morrisville. The cause of death was not immediately known.
According to court records, Tuminski arrived at his brother Jan's house at 9:15 a.m., having driven up from Maryland. Jan Tuminski immediately called police after his brother revealed that he had killed his roommate and that the body was in the trunk of his nearby car.
Through an interpreter, Michal Tuminski told Bucks County detectives that he and Grabowski had fought early Sunday, the court records said. He contended that Grabowski deliberately damaged Tuminski's television.
The men fought, and at one point Grabowski banged his head on a concrete floor.
Tuminski said he bound Grabowski's arms and legs with a rope from a swing in the basement and placed him on a bed. He then tied Grabowski to the bed with a belt, drank a beer, and went to sleep, the court records say.
Tuminski told police that his roommate never lost consciousness, however, "and threatened to kill [him] if he got loose."
He told detectives that when he awakened Sunday afternoon, Grabowski appeared to be asleep, and that he did not check on him further. Not until 5 a.m. yesterday, he said, did he realize that his roommate was dead.
Jan Tuminski told police that his brother called at 6:33 a.m. He said his brother asked him not to go to work because he needed his help.
Jan Tuminski said he called police as soon as he learned of the body in his brother's car.
Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry said Michal Tuminski had lived at his brother's house in Morrisville until moving to Maryland about two weeks ago. Although Grabowski's age was not listed in court documents, Henry said he was about 45.