Brighton police: Deadly hit-and-run intentional, woman charged with murder

Crime

BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester woman was arrested in connection to a fatal hit-and-run on Highland Avenue at Council Rock Avenue in Brighton last week.

According to the Brighton Police Department, 24-year-old Angelina Griffin, is charged with second degree murder.

Griffin sped down Highland Avenue at 60 miles per hour and intentionally struck and killed 34-year-old Omar Coker of Rochester, after Coker robbed Griffin, according to the Brighton Police Department.

“I first want to reassure the community by stating that this was not a traffic safety issue, but rather an intentional act by an individual perpetrator.” Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi said Tuesday. “The operator of the car, whom we arrested, sped down Highland Avenue in a westerly direction at about 60 miles per hour, and intentionally struck the victim. We’re very fortunate that several witnesses came forward to provide us crucial information in this case.”

Emergency crews were called to the intersection around 3 p.m. last Wednesday. Upon arrival, officers found Coker deceased.

Police found the car involved two days later after witnesses spoke with investigators at the scene. On Monday, Catholdi announced they had made an arrest.

“What we believe is Ms. Griffin struck Mr. Coker with the vehicle as retribution for the robbery. We believe that Mr. Coker robbed Ms. Griffin,” Capt. Michael DeSain said. “The investigation right now suggests that our decedent [Coker] somehow arrived at these apartments at the corner of East and Highland, known as the County Club Apartments. There an interaction took place with who we believe to be Angelina Griffin, a brief interaction took place which at this point we believe is a robbery. Our decedent left the scene walking or running down Highland Avenue and our suspect, defendant [Angelina] left that complex in a Mercedez-Benz at a high rate of speed and struck the decedent. At that time, upon our arrival, several thousand dollars was spread across Highland Avenue.”

Investigators say that when they arrived on the scene, several thousand dollars were spread across the road. Investigators also said they believe Coker was in possession of a weapon at the time.

“We had heard direct statements from witnesses that lead us to believe a robbery may have just occurred. That portion of the investigation is active at this time but it’s safe to say some time of robbery had occurred,” DeSain said.

Griffin was remanded to the Monroe County Jail without bail due to her being a three-time convicted felon. She’s also been on parole for less than a year after a 2016 conviction for attempted robbery in the first degree out of Richmond County, New York. Griffin was convicted of attempted robbery in the first degree and sentenced to 42 months. She was released in April of 2020.

Investigators believe Griffin had what they called a “ghost address” on East Avenue, but did not live in the neighborhood making her difficult to track.

“It’s this type of conduct when parole officers don’t know where parolees are living and they can’t monitor what they’re doing,” Chief Catholdi said. “It only further leads them down the road of criminal conduct. Maybe if there were more stringent requirements in place with parole, and parole officers were allowed to do their job…maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”

Police say the search was a collaborative effort with the DA’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force Group, the Rochester Police Department’s Major Crime Unit and the New York State Police — about 450 hours of combined police work.

Griffin has ties to New York City and police say she transferred her parole from the Bronx up to this region.

Griffin surrendered at the Brighton Police Department shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday represented by her attorney James Napier.

Full press conference:

This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.

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