A reward of $10,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect wanted in connection with the hit-and-run death last month of popular Maspeth bar owner George Gibbons.
The Justice for George Gibbons campaign was established by the family and friends of Gibbons. Over 100 people, including family members, government and civic leaders assembled at the first press conference on Tuesday morning at Maspeth Federal Bank on Grand Avenue in Queens.
“The community here in Maspeth has gathered the reward,” Bernadette Gibbons, George’s sister, told the Irish Voice.
The NYPD have identified the suspect wanted in connection with the fatal wrong-way crash on the LIE, which claimed the life of Gibbons on October 15.
Authorities have released a photo of 36-year-old Hispanic Peter Rodriguez, with a last known address of 72 De Sales Place in Brooklyn. They are asking for the public’s assistance in tracking him down.
An NYPD spokesman confirmed to the Irish Voice on Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made to date.
The suspect, who was known to police, had previously been arrested on drug charges, assault and other violent crimes. The Brooklyn resident had also done several stints in prison relating to his extensive rap sheet.
George’s younger sister Bernadette, who worked alongside her brother at his Irish bar, Gibbons Home, appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
“We are just trying to get the word out there,” she told the Irish Voice.
“We want everyone to keep their eyes peeled, somebody must know where he is. If anyone is withholding information they are equally guilty for the crime he committed and for the hurt he has caused our family.
“We are also getting wanted posters printed and plan to spread them around Brooklyn,” she said, adding that anyone who would like to help should contact them through The Gibbons Home Facebook page.
“To see the community come together yet again is very heart warming,” Gibbons said. “George is getting back what he gave throughout the years.”
The fatal crash occurred on Saturday, October 15, shortly after 6 a.m., when the 37-year-old owner of the Gibbons Home in Maspeth was making the journey home in a cab after he finished work. The driver had only gone a few blocks from the popular Queens bar when a wrong-way driver crashed into the vehicle on the service road of the Long Island Expressway.
The driver, identified as Rodriguez, fled the scene. Gibbons was pronounced dead on arrival at Elmhurst Hospital.
Gibbons Home is temporarily closed but the family is hopeful it will be back up and running in the near future.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.