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