Phila. tow driver held on charges in rival's death

March 22, 2011 3:40:32 PM PDT
It started as a turf war between half a dozen wreck chasers at a Kensington gas station. Two of them took it to a parking lot across the street where it turned deadly. All of it was captured on surveillance camera.

"To catch it on video, in that sort of graphic way is about as brutal as you'll ever see," prosecutor James Berardinelli said.

In the video, edited by Action News due to its graphic nature, Glen McDaniel's girlfriend can be seen trying to separate him from rival driver Ray Santiago.

It appeared to be over when McDaniel got into his truck and backed up.

But when Santiago started walking toward his truck, police say McDaniel gunned it and mowed down Santiago.

"Not running over Mr. Santiago once, but running over him, going beyond him, stopping, backing over him and then running over him again, locking the brakes up on him, [and] pinning him underneath the truck," Berardinelli said.

McDaniel was in court for a preliminary hearing today.

Of the half dozen wreck chasers who witnessed the incident, only one stayed behind and waited for the police.

Jonathan Marrero testified that he drove his truck over to the lot to see if he could help Santiago, but says he appeared to be dead already.

The prosecutor played the surveillance tape in court, a piece of evidence that's tough to defend against.

Action News tried to ask McDaniel's lawyer about it.

"I don't have any comment. (No comment at all?) No," the lawyer said.

But the prosecutor says the video speaks volumes.

"Pretty hard to argue that that's unintentional under those circumstances," Berardinelli said.

The video was enough for the judge. She ordered McDaniel held for trial on first and third degree murder charges.