A Pennsylvania man who allegedly plowed his blue Honda Accord into a crowd of mourners late Saturday, killing one and injuring 17 others, before murdering his own mother, allegedly told cops he did so because he was tired of fighting with his mom over money.
State troopers said that at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, drove into a group of about 75 people who were attending a daylong community benefit in Nescopeck to raise funds in the wake of a horrific house fire last week that killed 10 family members and 13 dogs.
After mowing down the group, leaving a 50-year-old woman dead, Reyes is accused of fleeing the area only to create another crime scene in the neighboring town of Berwick.
According to charging documents cited by the Press Enterprise, just six minutes after Reyes’ car peeled away from the crash scene, police received a 911 call from a local resident. A man, later identified as Reyes, had crashed a vehicle into the caller’s car, warned him to “get back,” and was assaulting a woman with a hammer, the caller said.
That woman was identified in the charging documents as Reyes’ mother, Rosa D. Reyes.
This is the man State Police say drove a car into the crowd of people at a fundraiser in Berwick for the victims of last Friday’s deadly fire in Nescopeck. He was later arrested at a home in Nescopeck where a woman was found dead. His name is being released shortly. pic.twitter.com/wgNk2gXgE8
— Chelsea Strub (@chelseastrub) August 14, 2022
Reyes was arrested at the scene and later told police he hit his mom with his car and then proceeded to bludgeon her in the head four or five times with a hammer, according to the charging documents.
While in police custody, he allegedly said that he was tired of fighting with his mom about money and other issues, and wanted to be done with it.
Police have not explicitly said if they believe Reyes intentionally drove into the crowd of mourners but the charging documents offer some insight. Reyes allegedly told detectives he had fought with his mom earlier Saturday evening and felt “extremely frustrated” as he drove his car from Nescopeck to Berwick, where she lived.
As he drove past a local bar, he noticed the group of community members standing in the parking lot, so he circled back before hitting the gas and plowing into them, the charging documents state.
Reyes had been in a previous altercation with his mom on Dec. 26, 2020, that resulted in an assault and harassment charge.
According to a Berwick Police Department report and court records, an argument over a cell phone turned into battery when Reyes snatched the phone from his mom’s hands and hit her in the face with it, cutting her across the nose. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation, which only ended last month.
As he was escorted by state police to an arraignment early Sunday, a shackled Reyes only said “sorry,” according to reporters at the scene.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29. If convicted, the maximum penalty Reyes faces is death.
Pennsylvania State Police public information officer Anthony Petroski said Reyes was not considered a suspect in the Aug. 5 Nescopeck house fire “at this time.”
Police did not release the identities of any victims of the first incident. Of the 17 people injured, four were in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Three were in fair condition and five were still being evaluated for conditions at the hospital. Another three patients were taken to other hospitals and had either been treated and released, or were still being evaluated for condition.