Was it an accident or an intentional act?
That question sits at the center of a grisly court case involving a slain off-duty police officer and a man whom police say is dating the deceased’s ex-girlfriend.
On July 15, Officer Marc Brady was struck by a white Acura just after 11:30 p.m. in the city’s East Mount Airy neighborhood as he rode his bicycle towards his ex’s home, according to Philadelphia police.
Brady, who was on administrative duty resulting from an unspecified departmental investigation, suffered severe head trauma.
The 32-year-old was pronounced dead at Albert Einstein Medical Center just over a half-hour later.
Kareem Alleyne, 35, of nearby East Germantown, was arrested the next day.
Police are now investigating whether the Acura purposely veered to hit Brady.
At a Roundhouse press conference attended by Commissioner Charles Ramsey, investigators noted that Brady and Alleyne had “bad blood between them,” but said that the Sunday night incident was the result of a “chance encounter.”
Was it a setup?
Family members of Brady don’t agree with the second half of that assessment. They are alleging that Alleyne not only hit the 22nd District officer on purpose, but planned it out beforehand.
“The whole thing was a setup and I think they tried to make it look like an accident,” said Gerald Brady, Marc’s father.
Alleyne’s preliminary hearing, which was originially scheduled for last Wednesday, has been rescheduled for Oct. 2.
In a phone interview, Gerald noted that Brady’s ex-girlfriend, identified by Brady’s relatives as Romara Glenn, had reportedly invited Brady via text-message to her home near the intersection of Musgrave Street and East Meehan Avenue.
Brady and Glenn had six children together, but were not married.
For Gerald, the crash doesn’t make sense unless it was intentional.
“If [Alleyne] was trying to get away [from Brady], I think he would have made a U-turn,” he said. “And instead he nailed Marc, bull’s-eye.”
‘An unfortunate accident’
Not so, says Alleyne’s lawyer, Scott Sigman. He will argue in court that the incident was an accident, and that Brady triggered the encounter.
Sigman said Thursday that Brady and Glenn had a “volatile off-and-on” relationship and that witnesses saw him “prowling” around Glenn’s home, allegedly circling around the property before Alleyne headed for his car.
Brady then allegedly pedaled toward Alleyne’s car, colliding with it head-on as it made a left-hand turn nearby.
“This guy was coming after my client,” said Sigman, noting that it’s unclear how the collision occurred.
Sigman pointed to a 9-1-1 call placed by Alleyne and the fact that he stayed at the scene to wait for police as evidence that his client did not act recklessly.
“My whole case is that this is an unfortunate accident,” said Sigman. “This is not an intentional act at all.”
Assistant District Attorney Mark Levenberg said he would not comment on the case until after the preliminary hearing in October.
Alleyne is out on bail. He is facing charges of homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.