SUNSET PARK — The owner of a local ironworks was fatally struck by his own truck when he chased after a carjacker who then fled the scene Monday morning, police and coworkers said.
After his flatbed truck was stolen while parked outside 304 24th St., Phil Dellegrazie, a 63-year-old father and the owner of A & D Iron Works, got into another vehicle and followed Joshua Colon, 24, two blocks away to 705 Fourth Ave., near 23rd Street, police said.
As Dellegrazie approached his truck and tried to get in, he fell to the ground and Colon ran him over, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters. Dellagrazie "ended up under the truck" and the back wheels.
A witness at the scene said Dellagrazie flew into the air. "The victim flipped up in the air about 8 feet. He hit the ground hard. The [driver] took off. He took the truck up 22nd Street the wrong way. People were diving out of the way," said witness Troy Tecau, 70.
Emergency medical workers tried to revive Dellegrazie in the middle of the street, witnesses said.
"The body was right in the middle of the street. There was an EMT right behind him. She rolled him on his back. She started doing first aid and chest compressions. She was trying to save him. She was working for 15 to 20 minutes, but I think he died on impact," said Salem Jwayyed, 37, who works at a bodega nearby.
Dellegrazie was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
Colon, who lives in Park Slope, was arrested near the crash scene later Monday evening and charged with murder, robbery and grand larceny, an NYPD spokesman said.
"[The driver's] a son of a b---h. He's a bad guy," said Pablo Rodriguez, 48, one of Dellegrazie's workers.
Colon has been arrested about 30 times on various charges including grand larceny and some drug offenses. An NYPD spokesman couldn't give more information because many of his arrests are sealed, he said.
NYPD officials initially said there may have been a second man with Colon. Their investigation is ongoing.
The carjackers ditched the truck on 22nd Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, police said. (DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp)
Dellegrazie died about an hour after he opened shop, which he founded about 45 years ago, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez had just seen Dellegrazie on Monday morning and was out fixing a motor when a co-worker called him with the news, he said.
"When I came back, he was on the street," Rodriguez said.
Dellegrazie's sons drove to the scene in their own truck shortly after, learning how he died from Rodriguez, he said.
"[The younger son] got out of the truck and ran to his father. He was crying. The older son stayed in the truck," Rodriguez said.
Coworkers were devastated by Dellegrazie's death, he said.
"I worked for him for 10 years. He was a good guy. I love him. I miss him already," said Salvador Martinez, an A & D worker.