Tampa Man Charged With Killing USPS Mailman in Hit-and-Run

Image by: WFLA

Police say that a 56-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run that killed a USPS mailman on Monday.

Police say Christopher Prater was caught and charged with hitting someone and then leaving the scene of the accident while his license was suspended or revoked.

A tip told police that Prater was involved in the hit-and-run. The suspected car was found in the yard of a house in the 8400 block of North 16th Street, and Prater was questioned by police.

Prater told the cops that the driver of the car was his friend.
The owner of the car told police that it had been left at their house a few days before the crash. While Prater wasn’t allowed to drive the car, the Tampa Police Department says he did have the keys with him in case it needed to be moved.

Officials say that fingerprints that matched Prater’s were found in the car, along with a bank card that had his name on it.

Investigators said that more proof they had found did not support Prater’s story. For example, surveillance video showed Prater getting into the car before the crash and returning it after the crash with damage to the front end.

Police say that witnesses said Prater was wearing the same clothes that he was wearing the day of the accident.

Officials stated Paul Falica, 69, a USPS mailman, passed away in the accident.

“I hope this swift arrest will provide a small sense of closure for the Falica family, as well as the extended family from the US Postal Service, as they all continue to navigate this tragedy,” the police chief said in a statement.

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