Germantown man held for trial in high-speed police chase which killed a bystander

A 39-year-old Germantown man has been held for trial in connection with a March 30 high-speed chase that left one bystander dead, a woman seriously injured and their 4-year-old son suffering a fractured skull.

According to police, Gregory Alston, of Fernhill Road near Berkley Street, was pulled over for running a stop sign at Pike Street and then “weaving in and out of traffic” on North Broad Street.

The suspect allegedly responded to 25th District Police Officer James Boone’s request for a driver’s license with a weapon.

“He came over with a black handgun right across his chest. The gun was pointed directly at me,” said Boone at Wednesday’s preliminary hearing.

Boone also testified that he yelled “gun” as Alston sped off in a 2001 Volkswagen Passat.

A high-speed chase

Police pursued Alston along North Broad Street and onto Roosevelt Boulevard before traveling through “99 percent residential areas,” nearly striking a pedestrian on Wister Street near LaSalle University and tossing objects out of the car window, including a bag which produced “a poof of smoke,” according to Boone.

During his testimony, Officer Michael Levin estimated the Passat was going 85 mph in a residential zone.

The chase ended at 10th and Ontario streets when Alston’s car ran into a Honda Accord. (Alston ran, but was quickly caught on the 900 block of Russell St.)

The collision killed the driver of the other vehicle, 36-year-old Danny Irizarry Roman, and left Roman’s girlfriend, Jenny Santiago, and their 4-year-old son hospitalized.

When Assistant District Attorney John Doyle noted that Roman had died as a result of the chase, Alston lowered his head into his hands at the defense table.

Santiago reportedly suffered damage to her liver, spine and ribs, while the youth’s skull was fractured. Both were in Courtroom 306 on Thursday; Santiago used a walker to get around.

Alston, who has a lengthy rap sheet, was held for trial on charges including involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle and fleeing police. Doyle added a DUI charge to the list after the hearing because a toxicology report showed that Alston tested positive for cocaine.

No gun has been found in connection with the case.

Alston remains in custody in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to court documents.

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