Prior DUI for Driver in Sgt. Simpson's Death - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Prior DUI for Driver in Sgt. Simpson's Death

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    Port Richmond neighbors were distraught after the accident Monday night that killed Sgt. Timothy Simpson. He is the 6th Philadelphia police officer to die in the line of duty in the last 2-1/2 years.

    The driver of the car that hit and killed Sgt. Timothy Simpson Monday night had a history of driving under the influence, and an arrest record  that dates back to 1986, according to Philadelphia police.

    AND, perhaps the toughest fact to face:  Philadelphia police had the suspect in custody two weeks ago, but a bail commissioner let him go.

    41-year-old William Foster has been charged with: 3rd degree murder, aggravated assault, simple aggravated assault, homicide by vehicle, fleeing police, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another person and other related offenses.

    Police say with his history, Foster should have never been on the street.  They say the car he was driving belongs to a friend. 

    Philadelphia Police Release Details on Sgt. Simpson's Death -- Part 1

    [PHI] Philadelphia Police Release Details on Sgt. Simpson's Death -- Part 1
    Police press conference on the accident that killed Police Sgt. Timothy Simpson.
    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008)

    Foster has more than 20 prior arrests on his record.  Police say at the hospital, they also found 3 bags of heroin on the him.

    They say Foster left his Levittown home on Monday and came down to Philadelphia for one reason:  to buy heroin.

    Police say Foster has prior arrests that include burglary, theft of a stolen car, aggravated assault, drug possession, shoplifting, and a fatal DUI in Middletown, N.J. in 2004.

    Police say his rap sheet includes arrests in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Hilltown, Bristol Township, Falls Township, Pennsylvania and across the state line in Trenton, N.J.

    Foster was in the custody of Philadelphia police two weeks ago.  He had a stolen shotgun in his possession, but was let go, according to District Attorney Lynne Abraham. Sgt. Simpson's fellow officers are shaking their heads over the "what if" thoughts about that fact.  Foster was driving with a suspended license, was on probation and had a bench warrant out for his arrest when he was arrested last night.

    The passenger who was with Foster in the car will not be charged.

    Sources tell NBC10 the Camero both men were in Monday night in Port Richmond, was being chased by police for running red lights and running from police.

    Sgt. Simpson was on his way to a robbery when his police cruiser was hit.

    Simpson leaves behind a son and two daughters, 15-year-old twins and an eleven year old daughter.