Students in awe after hit and run incident

By Kelly Finlan
September 11, 2003

Toccara Buckley

Tires squealed on Residential Boulevard at 2:53 a.m. Saturday Sept. 6 as a black Jeep Cherokee sped from the scene of an apparent hit and run. The speeding vehicle hit seniors Michael Rennie, a liberal arts major, and Sean Gracey, a history major, after a verbal altercation caused the drivers to flee.

“Everything was fine, everything was okay, and then somebody said something in the crowd,” Rennie said.

He went on to say that he and a few of his friends attempted to talk to the three people in the car.

“Apparently there were a few words exchanged, and he [the driver] tried to run somebody down,” Charlie Schaffner, the director of public safety, said.

According to the Radnor incident report, Rennie heard the occupants of the three vehicles involved say, “Let’s fight.”

“Then I proceeded to go out into the street and I was talking to my friend,” Rennie said. “Someone had said something to that kid [in the car] about the police coming. Then that kid sped off towards us in the street. He kind of slowed down but then he accelerated again.”

Bystanders watched as Rennie was hit by the S.U.V., injuring his left knee and running over his left foot. Gracey incurred an injury to his right arm. Neither victim accepted medical treatment, according to the police incident report.

Eddie Johns, a Villanova University student, recalls a group of 15 to 20 Cabrini students surrounding the car, throwing beer bottles and being generally belligerent.

The black Jeep pulled away, hitting Rennie and Gracey in the process. The driver then turned around in the apartment parking lot, then sped off down Residential Boulevard toward New Residence Hall.

Beer bottles and debris was hurled at the car as it drove away. Johns’ car, a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse, incurred a fist-sized dent to the passenger side rear wheel well.

“I saw the S.U.V. speed off at about 60 miles per hour down Residential Boulevard,” Matt McCrea, sophomore computer science major, said. “It caught air going over the speed bumps.”

Public Safety and Radnor Police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.

“One of my people just happened to be going by, and he saw the whole thing,” Schaffner said.

“Cabrini’s public safety was there the whole time,” Johns said, “and they did nothing.”

The Public Safety officer “stopped because there were so many people in the road,” Schaffner said.

Schaffner went on to speculate that the jeep began to back up when the driver saw the Public Safety Jeep. “He may have panicked because he thought we were there to stop in and then the jeep took off. My guy couldn’t get out of there because there were so many people there.”

“I thought Public Safety and Radnor police did everything they could while they were here. I don’t know how much further they’re going to go in it. As far as I’m concerned with how they handled it, I think they handled it very well,” Rennie said.

Posted to the web by Toccara Buckley

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Kelly Finlan

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