Northeast Times

Suspect in highway officer's death is in prison

Start­Frag­ment

As fam­ily, col­leagues and friends laid Phil­adelphia High­way Patrol Of­ficer Bri­an Lorenzo to rest on Fri­day, the man ac­cused of run­ning him down on In­ter­state 95 was trans­ferred from a hos­pit­al bed to a pris­on cell.

John D. Leck, 47, of the unit block of Circle Road in Levit­town, is be­ing held without bail at Phil­adelphia’s De­ten­tion Cen­ter on State Road in the North­east. He is charged with murder, driv­ing while un­der the in­flu­ence, hom­icide by vehicle while DUI, ag­grav­ated as­sault, in­vol­un­tary man­slaughter and re­lated of­fenses. He is sched­uled for a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing on Ju­ly 25 at the Crim­in­al Justice Cen­ter.

Au­thor­it­ies late last week con­firmed news me­dia re­ports that Leck had been drink­ing at a Ben­s­alem Town­ship T.G.I. Fri­day’s res­taur­ant early on Ju­ly 8, hours be­fore he al­legedly drove the wrong way on In­ter­state 95 and fatally struck Lorenzo.

Cit­ing “a pre­lim­in­ary state po­lice re­port,” Fox29 on Ju­ly 9 re­por­ted that Leck has spent $45 on drinks at a Ben­s­alem Town­ship T.G.I. Fri­day’s be­fore leav­ing the res­taur­ant just be­fore 1:30 a.m. The po­lice re­port is not a pub­lic doc­u­ment.

On Ju­ly 10, the Phil­adelphia Daily News re­por­ted that Leck had ordered three 22-ounce Co­ors Light beers, one 14-ounce Co­ors Light and two Three Olives vodka drinks at the res­taur­ant, be­fore pay­ing his tab at 1:16 a.m. The news­pa­per cited an un­spe­cified po­lice source.

Oth­er pub­lished news re­ports stated that sur­veil­lance cam­er­as re­cord Leck in the res­taur­ant.

A state po­lice source con­tac­ted by the North­east Times con­firmed that Leck was at Fri­days that even­ing and that au­thor­it­ies con­tin­ue to in­vest­ig­ate where Leck went for about two hours im­me­di­ately be­fore the 3:14 a.m. crash. In­vest­ig­at­ors have been con­tact­ing bars in the North­east near the Cottman Av­en­ue in­ter­change at I-95.

On Ju­ly 12, CBS 3 re­por­ted that a sample of Leck’s blood taken after the crash had an al­co­hol con­tent of .218 per­cent, al­most three times the leg­al lim­it of .08 per­cent. The sta­tion cit­ied un­spe­cified sources.

On Monday, Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 pres­id­ent John McNesby said that about $70,000 had been raised to sup­port Lorenzo’s wid­ow, Linda, and their 4-year-old son Domin­ic. The Lorenzo couple also has an adult son and adult daugh­ter.

About $20,000 had been con­trib­uted dir­ectly to the Bri­an Lorenzo Me­mori­al Fund at the Po­lice and Fire Fed­er­al Cred­it Uni­on, while a be­ne­fit gath­er­ing at a North­east pub on Fri­day night, along with T-shirt sales and oth­er activ­it­ies, prob­ably raised an­oth­er $50,000, McNesby said. A fi­nal count is pending.

“We star­ted im­me­di­ately and re­ceived a great re­sponse,” McNesby said. “We’re go­ing to con­tin­ue to do things like T-shirt sales. And once things settle down and the fall comes, the guys in High­way (Patrol) are go­ing to want to do something. Our main thing is to do it when everything is fresh in people’s minds.” ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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