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Man Allegedly Murdered Mom With Hammer After Driving Into Crowd, Killing One

Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes’ told authorities he'd gotten into an argument with his mother, Rosa Reyes, before allegedly embarking on deadly rampage.


By Dorian Geiger
Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes is led from the state police barracks

A Pennsylvania man is accused of fatally attacking his mother with a hammer after plowing his car into a fundraising event, killing a bystander and wounding several others.

Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, allegedly told police he mowed down his mother Rosa D. Reyes outside her home — and later clubbed her to death with a hammer — because he was “tired” of “fighting” with her over money. 

Police say prior to killing his mother, Reyes crashed his Honda sedan into a group of pedestrians in a bar parking lot in Berwick, which left one woman dead and hospitalized 17 others.

On Aug. 13, state troopers responded to a bar in Berwick named Intoxicology Department shortly after 6 p.m. following reports a blue Honda sedan had crashed into a group of individuals in the establishment’s parking lot, according to a state police press release. In total, 18 people were struck. The lone victim killed in the attack was identified as Rebecca L. Reese, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.

The group had gathered to raise money for victims of a recent fire in Nescopeck, which claimed the lives of 10 people earlier this month, Scranton television station WYOU reported. 

Surveillance footage of the incident showed the blue Honda entering the bar’s barricaded parking lot and accelerating at and striking several pedestrians. Reese, one of the victims struck by the sedan, was later dragged onto West Second Street by the vehicle as the driver fled the scene. 

The other victims were transported to various area hospitals for treatment. Five victims remain in critical condition, Pennsylvania State Police said Monday.

Minutes later, a separate motorist dialed 911 to report his vehicle had been hit, allegedly by Reyes, in Nescopeck, just under two miles away. The driver also relayed to dispatchers that the driver had emerged from his vehicle with a hammer, and was attacking a woman, later identified as Reyes' mother.

Upon arrival, state troopers found Rosa Reyes suffering from fatal head injuries near the driver’s side door of the wrecked blue Honda, which had collided with another vehicle. Rosa Reyes’ “brain matter” and a hammer were later found on the Honda’s hood, according to charging documents. The car’s windshield also showed damage consistent with striking a pedestrian, according to authorities.

Reyes was later arrested by the Salem Township Police officers. Under questioning, Reyes allegedly confessed to mowing down the group of victims at the fundraising event in Berwick.

“I didn’t ram ‘em, I just ran them over,” he told detectives, per the complaint.

Reyes disclosed to investigators that he’d initially gotten behind the wheel of his Honda prior to the series of crashes after getting into an argument with his mother. 

As he drove through Berwick, Reyes, who had grown “extremely frustrated,” spotted the group of people who had gathered for the fundraiser. He allegedly told investigators he later flipped around and steered his Honda headlong into the crowd of approximately 75 people, including children, who had gathered there.

Upon fleeing the scene and returning home, Reyes allegedly stated he later saw his mother outside the property and “accelerated” at her.  After striking her with the front of his car, he later retrieved a hammer from the sedan and struck Rosa Reyes — who appeared “passed out” — about “four or five times” in the head, according to authorities.

Reyes was charged with two open counts of criminal homicide. Officials said he could face additional charges, pending investigation.

“The Pennsylvania State Police Troop N and Troop P major case teams are investigating these heinous crimes,” Trooper Anthony Petroski told Oxygen.com in a statement. “Members of both Troops mourn with the families and community as they go through this terrible tragedy and we ensure we will do a thorough and complete investigation to bring justice to this matter”.

Reyes is being held without bail at a Columbia County detention facility, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 29, according to separate court documents. It’s unclear if he’s retained legal representation.