Man arrested and charged after foolishly admitting to hit and run crime

After initially being questioned and released, his callous admission brought him back to justice

Phocian Fitts
(Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe/Getty)

A Massachusetts man admitted on TV to a cold-blooded, fatal hit and run that left an 80-year-old retired art teacher dying on a local road.

Phocian Fitts, 23, told a local news station WFXT: “Right now I’m not worried about nothing, man, like I said I’m not a stone-cold killer. I didn’t do nothing on purpose. People hit and run people all the time.”

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Boston police responded to a call that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in the area of 1316 Commonwealth Ave., according to a police report obtained by PEOPLE.

The former educator, Theodore Schwalb, succumbed to life-threatening injuries at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.

While Fitts gave limited answers to investigators following the incident, he opened up and didn’t exercise his right to remain silent when a TV news reporter approached him. He said the hit was unintentional.

“I was listening to my music, but as I’m driving, I’m driving too quick,” he said.

“So I’m driving too quick to the point where it’s like I couldn’t really stop, but it was a green light. So as the guy was walking — the light is green, I’m driving, and I’m pressing the horn, pressing the horn, ‘beep, beep, beep, beep.’ It was either I was going to die and crash into a pole. So when it came down to it, man — accidents happen, man.”

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The DA’s office viewed dashboard footage from a Jeep that was behind Fitts and it showed he failed to “brake before or after the fatal collision,” while Schwalb was walking in the crosswalk.

Authorities investigated and based on Fitts’ TV confession and witness testimony, he was arrested and charged with motor vehicle homicide and leaving the scene of a collision causing death, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Under state law, a plea of not guilty was entered for him.