Holocaust Survivor Charged in Deadly Hit-and-Run

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By NBCPhiladelphia.com

An elderly driver who survived the Holocaust has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run after allegedly running down a man on a bicycle in central New Jersey.

Monmouth County prosecutors say 83-year-old Abraham Chapnick of Howell turned himself in to police on Monday and was later released after posting $150,000 cash bail. He's charged with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and also received several motor vehicle summonses.

The charges stem from a March 12 accident in Howell, when 58-year-old Charles McHugh of Spring Lake was hit from behind while riding his bike.

Abraham ChapnickGina Columbus / ASBURY PARK PRESS

Neighbor Hugo Evans said he was "surprised and saddened" by the news of Chapnick's arrest.

"Being that his age, I don't know what happened in the accident," he said.

Evans said police broke down his neighbor's door, opened up the garage door and then towed away a car.

The Asbury Park Press reports Chapnick is a Holocaust survivor who often visits local schools to share his experiences during World War II. Last May, he talked to Howell Memorial Middle School students about his adolescence spent hiding from the Nazis before becoming a prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

McHugh's wife declined to speak on camera but said he was a "wonderful man."

Chapnick could face up to 10 years in state prison if he's convicted.