Boston Man Arrested in Fatal Hit-and-Run After Oddly Candid Television Interview

Phocian Fitts, 23, was arrested in a fatal hit-and-run after telling a local news station that "accidents happen."

Published Jun 8, 2018

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Police in Boston questioned and released 23-year-old Phocian Fitts in a fatal 6 June 2018 hit-and-run incident, later arresting Fitts after his interview with WFXT aired.

In the clip, a WFXT reporter said that police did not have enough information to charge Fitts with any crime in relation to the vehicular death of an 80-year-old man. Fitts told a reporter that "accidents happen" and "people hit and run people all the time":

Fitts, still wearing police-issued clothing as his were seized when he was questioned, was quoted in a news item about the live interview:

Right now I’m not worried about nothing, I’m not a stone cold killer, I didn’t do nothing on purpose ... People hit and run people all the time.

It wasn’t intentional ... Accidents happen all the time, it was an accident.

... First off, I was scared and worried because I didn’t know what can happen that’s why I left I said, 'God forbid I hope he’s okay.'

... I was listening to my music and as I was driving I was driving too quick, I was driving too quick to the point where I couldn't really stop and it was a green light ... As the guy was walking, the light was green, I'm driving and pressing the horn, 'beep beep' - it was either I was going to die and crash into a pole when it came down to it.

Fitts also stated that police released him because he was "not guilty," adding that he is "a real gangster — not in a bad way — a gangster because I help out the community and I look out for the youth."

WBZ in Boston quoted prosecutors as saying that "dash cam footage depicts the Jeep accelerating at a high rate of speed with no cars in front of it or next to it." The victim was identified in court documents as Ted Schwalb, a retired art teacher. Fitts pled not guilty to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.


Tempera, Jacqueline.   "Ted Schwalb, Victim In Boston Hit-And-Run, Had A 'Zest For Life'."     MassLive.   8 June 2018.

WFXT.   "Boston 25 News Interview Leads To Arrest In Deadly Hit-And-Run."     7 June 2018.

WBZ.   "Prosecutors: Fatal Allston Hit-And-Run Was Caught On Dashboard Camera."     7 June 2018.

The Sun Chronicle.   "Suspect In Hit-And-Run Who Talked To Tv Station Held On Bail."     7 June 2018.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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