‘You were in the way:’ Hit-and-run suspect yelled at injured pedestrian while fleeing, police say

Suspect reportedly tried to blame brother for Melbourne crash

John Costello (Brevard County Jail)

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Florida man yelled at a pedestrian after hitting her with his SUV, blaming her for the crash, but refused to stop and help her, according to the Melbourne Police Department.

Police said the victim was leaving a Walmart on Wickham Road around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 when a blue Ford SUV hit her as she was crossing the parking lot. Records show the driver yelled, “You were in the way” out the window but didn’t stop to help the woman, who suffered injuries to her back and ankle.

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Walmart was able to provide security footage that showed the crash and captured the SUV’s license plate number, according to the report.

Police said based on that information, they were able to identify the owner as John Costello, of Melbourne. Costello claimed that his brother had borrowed the SUV and was driving at the time of the crash but couldn’t be reached because he lived “deep” in Palm Bay and had a phone that operated on Wi-Fi only.

Records show after that interview, police were able to locate another surveillance video from a gas station that showed Costello driving the SUV that day and he was wearing the same clothes he was wearing when officers interviewed him.

A photo lineup was conducted on Oct. 1 and the victim said Costello, 32, was the man who struck her at Walmart, according to the affidavit.

He was arrested Thursday on a charge of leaving the scene of a crash with bodily injury.