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Edison Man Charged in Connection with Fatal Hit and Run

Investigators: Tarek Barakat, 19, Fled the Scene and Hid His Vehicle at Storage Facility
MCPO
Barakat fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run without reporting it, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An Edison man has been charged in connection with the hit-and-run that left a pedestrian dead this past Sunday.

Edison resident Tarek Barakat, 19, was arrested at his residence yesterday and charged with "leaving the scene of a fatal accident, hindering his apprehension, and tampering with evidence," according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to investigators, Barakat was driving a 2008 Honda Civic when he struck Alvaro Ortega Santiago, 41, around midnight on Sunday morning.

Santiago was crossing the intersection of Route 18 and George Street near Rutgers' Cook-Douglass campus when he was hit.  Santiago was later pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital within the hour, at 12:52 a.m.

Barakat fled the scene without reporting the incident, then hid the vehicle in a storage facility.

Officer Hector Lugo of the New Brunswick Police Department and Investigator Adrian Villegas of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office headed the investigation which led to the swift arrest.

Barakat has been released on $75,000 bail.

The investigation is still active and anyone with pertinent information is asked to call Investigator Villegas at (732)-745-4428, or Officer Lugo at (732)-745-5200.