Upper Darby police say man was drunk when he ran over 6-year-old girl

Ian Bush
May 14, 2019 - 2:39 pm
Jennifer Portillo

Upper Darby Police Department

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UPPER DARBY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Frankford man has surrendered to police in Delaware County and now prepares to face a preliminary hearing next week on charges that he was drunk behind the wheel when he ran over and killed a little girl.

This might have been just a terrible accident — were it not for the alcohol that Upper Darby Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood said fueled Darin Forrest's afternoon.

"He had been inside Rudy's Tavern and had two beers," he said. "He then left that location and went to the Waterford and had a Bombay gin."

Darin Forrest
Upper Darby Police Department

The 53-year-old told police he drank before returning to the first bar for another round, according to Chitwood. Forrest found a parking spot just as 6-year-old Jennifer Portillo was crossing the street with her family.

"The driver had backed over the little girl," said Chitwood. Forrest stopped his SUV and cooperated, but he was distraught. Police said his blood-alcohol level tested above the legal limit.

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"The tragedy is alcohol and driving a vehicle don't play out," Chitwood added.

Jennifer's family didn't even get to see the child buried in their native Honduras, for fear they wouldn't be allowed back in the U.S. 

Chitwood said that's another thing Forrest took from the Portillos, and he promises to try to close down the Waterford Inn and Rudy's Tavern — bars that he referred to as "toilets."

"You've got a tragedy that could have been avoided — period," Chitwood added. "And we see it over and over and over again."

Forrest is being held in Delaware County prison on 10 percent of $1 million bail. 

His preliminary hearing is set for Monday on charges including homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while DUI, and involuntary manslaughter.