Suspect in Gibbons hit-and-run death caught in Connecticut

Eamon Gibbons holds a photo of his brother, Gibbons' Home owner George, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash.
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A month to the day after he allegedly killed the owner of a popular Maspeth bar in a hit-and-run accident, which sparked a massive neighborhood campaign to bring him to justice, Peter Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday morning in Connecticut, police said.

The streets of Maspeth and surrounding areas were blanketed with Rodriguez’s mugshot on fliers offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction after Gibbons’ Home bar owner George Gibbons, Jr. died in the accident.

Rodriguez was allegedly driving the wrong way Oct. 15 on the Long Island Expressway near 58th Road and hit a livery cab in which Gibbons was riding, according to police. Gibbons was taken to Elmhurst Hospital shortly after the accident, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 37.

Police said Rodriguez was apprehended in Connecticut by the Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Gibbons’ brother, Brendan Gibbons, said Rodriguez was arrested on a parole violation and said the NYPD told him they had received a tip on the 36-year-old suspect’s whereabouts.

Brendan Gibbons said he believed the tip was called in due to media coverage or the posters and fliers that were put up in Maspeth.

The Gibbons family, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and community leaders gathered at the Maspeth Triangle by Grand Avenue and the Long Island Expressway Sunday to prod the community to come forward with information on Rodriguez.

“Myself and my family are currently happy to see that he’s in custody,” Brendan Gibbons said Tuesday. “At least it gives us some sort of justice to see that he’s not roaming the streets. Obviously, we have a long road ahead of us, but for myself and my family, we’re happy to see he’s in custody.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 2:35 pm, November 15, 2011
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Reader feedback

Victoria from Maspeth says:
Finally! Such a relief on the neighborhood and our streets are much safer - I'm so happy for the family that they are able to get this weight lifted off their shoulders.
Nov. 15, 2011, 3:10 pm
John from Maspeth says:
Maspeth is still a "small town" where just about everybody knows everybody. It is/was a relief to hear news. May God bless the Gibbons family, and the loss of their loved one. Justice will be duely served for their loss.
Nov. 15, 2011, 5:32 pm
Barbara Clune from Formerly of Maspeth says:
I knew George since he was little. We lived about five houses from him and his family. I am so happy that they caught this suspect so soon. His family and friends must feel such a sense of happiness and peace that he was caught.
Nov. 15, 2011, 7:46 pm
lou from astoria says:
thank god the spineless bastard
Nov. 15, 2011, 10:19 pm
Karen from Sunnyside says:
Rest in peace George.
Nov. 15, 2011, 10:40 pm
Charles from Maspeth says:
Hopefully the family can focus on mourning appropriately and effectively now that this scumbucket is off the streets.
Nov. 16, 2011, 9:43 am
Yong Chen from Maspeth says:
While I am happy that the family will get some form of closure now, with the capture of this horrible person, I disagree with the assertion that "Maspeth is still a small town" and the implication that the same community response would have been given for everybody. If it wasn't that a well known bar owner of Irish heritage died at the hands of this man, I don't think all the elected officials would have rushed to cause so much pressure for the perp's capture.
Nov. 16, 2011, 4:33 pm

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