Suspect named in ramming death

BENSALEM, Pa. - November 30, 2008 The incident occurred at approximately 10:20 Saturday night at the Salute Restaurant Bar, located at 2564 Knights Road in Bensalem.

Upon arrival police found that a white 2006 Ford pick-up F150 crashed into the front of the bar. Pinned between the vehicle and the building was 30-year-old William Sullo III of Philadelphia.

The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Jose Esteban Maldonado-Luzuriaga, was being restrained on the curb near the vehicle.

According to witnesses, Maldonado-Luzuriaga entered the bar visibly intoxicated and was refused service. He then got one of the other Hispanic patrons at the bar to buy him a beer.

That's when William Sullo, the take-out clerk for the Salute Restaurant Bar, and one of the bartenders escorted Maldonado-Luzuriaga out of the bar. Sullo and the bartender then stood outside the front door.

The other Hispanic patrons inside the bar followed the men out and began to argue with Maldonado-Luzuriaga. The suspect then allegedly got into the pick-up truck, circled the parking lot approximately three times, and then stopped the truck roughly 45 feet from the front of the bar.

Witnesses say Maldonado-Luzuriaga revved the truck's engine and drove through the parking lot at a high rate of speed, jumped the curb, and drove directly into William Sullo, pinning him between the vehicle and the front of the establishment.

Sullo was transported to Frankford Torresdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Maldonado-Luzuriaga was also hospitalized for facial injuries sustained during the crash, but was treated and released.

Maldonado-Luzuriaga admitted to police to having drank five Corona beers prior to the crash. He is from Ecuador and has been living illegally in the United States for the past 5-6 years. He did not have a valid driver's license.

Maldonado-Luzuriaga is being charged with Criminal Homicide, Attempted Criminal Homicide, Reckless Endangerment, and Driving Without a License.

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