Foster's neighbor talks

November 19, 2008 12:10:51 PM PST
Police say 41-year-old William Foster is a heroin addict and career criminal with a rap sheet dating back to 1986. Investigators say, Monday night, he was driving drunk and with a suspended license when he ran several red lights in Port Richmond, and collided with Sgt. Timothy Simpson, killing him.

According to authorities, Foster was only in Philadelphia to buy drugs.

Dave Scippione lives on Gingerbush Road in Levittown, where Foster lives with his mother and step father. He says Foster's Camero was hard to ignore.

"I've seen it driving up and down the street, just ripping and roaring up and down the street, and this is a residential neighborhood. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Whoever I saw was doing 50, 60 miles per hour," said Sciopione.

Foster's speeding car left Sgt. Simpson's police vehicle crumpled. Simpson was killed, Foster survived the crash with only minor injuries.

Police say he should have never been out on the road in the first place.

"There's no reason in the world this person should be on the street," said Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn.

That's because his police record includes 19 arrests in Pennsylvania and two in New Jersey for a range of crimes including theft, burglary, aggravated assault and an accident involving personal injury as he allegedly fled a crime scene.

Foster was arrested just two weeks ago when police say he had a shotgun in the car. He was released the next day.

City officials blame a bail hearing judge for letting him go home. Apparently he was never charged with gun possesion, only minor charges which routinely allow a suspect to go free.

"He's a bail jumper. He should be in prison, he should have been in prison. He has a long criminal history," said Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham.

Police say Foster had a male passenger with him at the time of the crash. He suffered a hip injury. So far, he has not been charged with any crime, but the district attorney's office says that could change.

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