Who is Charles Polevich? The Man Who Struck and Killed Nicki Minaj’s Father

The driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed the father of rapper Nicki Minaj last year came into light. As keeping a promise the judge sentenced him to a year in jail when Charles Polevich pleaded guilty in May.

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The Incident


On February 12 at roughly 6 pm, ET, Robert Maraj was struck by a 1992 Volvo while walking near Roslyn Road and Raff Avenue in Long Island. While he was walking south, a Volvo came at him and hit him from northbound, and the driver allegedly fled the scene.

Nicki’s father tragically passed away at a nearby hospital on February 13, a few hours after the hit-and-run. On Wednesday, February 17, the runaway, Charles turned himself in to authorities.

Who is Charles Polevich?


Few details are presently known about Charles Polevich. He does not have a criminal history or “any driving license history,” per a source. He is originally from Guam and lives in Mineola, located in the Nassau County of Long Island. Charles is 70 years old.

Charles  Polevich
Credit: Dennis A. Clark
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Charles Polevich had to surrender his passport and his travel restricts to New York state. His bail was set at $250,000 bond, $125,000 cash, or $1.25 million partially secured bond.

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The Miraj Family Reacts


Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, said in court that Polevich had left her husband “like a dog on the street” and that sparing him a longer jail sentence was a “slap in the face for the family,” a source reported. Gann asked for a 90-day jail sentence, arguing that other factors outside of Polevich’s control were partially to blame for the crash, including road construction, street lights that weren’t working, and Maraj’s physical condition.

Police struck Maraj, 64, while Maraj was walking along Roslyn Road in Mineola in February 2021. Police stopped briefly to ask Maraj if he was ok but the latter didn’t call for help. Instead, the prosecutors said that Polevich went home, parked the car — a white, 1992 Volvo station wagon in his garage, and covered it with a tarp. Later rushed to the hospital, and the authorities pronounced Maraj dead the next day.

Charles Polevich

Prosecutors sought a sentence of one to three years behind bars. But Nassau County Judge Howard Sturm said in May, when Polevich pleaded guilty, that he would get “no more than one year in jail.”

Charles Polevich
Credit: Dennis A. Clark
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Official Statements


Nicki has yet to release an official statement in the days following her father’s death. It is unknown how close the two were before his tragic passing. Nicki Minaj, the platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper of “Anaconda,” “Super Bass” and other hits, was born as Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and raised in Queens. In a post on her website, Minaj, 39, called her father’s death “the most devastating loss of my life.”

Nicki welcomed her first child, a son with husband Kenneth Petty, in early fall 2020. Since she gave birth to her baby boy, the “Anaconda” rapper has been “loving every minute” of motherhood.

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Brendan Brosh, a spokesperson for the Nassau County district attorney’s office, said that “given the severity of the defendant’s conduct,” prosecutors felt a stiffer sentence was necessary.

“We continue to express our condolences to the family of Robert Maraj,” Brosh said.

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