☑️ Wiston "Bebe" Perlaza's family said he was walking with a date when he was hit

☑️ The driver of the vehicle that police say hit Perlaza and left is in custody

☑️ Perlaza would have celebrated his 23rd birthday on Monday

PATERSON – An arrest was made in a Valentine’s Day fatal hit-and-run on Milton Avenue in Nutley that killed a man walking with his girlfriend.

Wiston “Bebe” Perlaza, 22, of Paterson, was struck around 7 p.m. on Milton Avenue in Nutley near the Garden State Parkway overpass. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II.

Wiston Perlaza
Wiston Perlaza (Erick Ferrer via GoFundMe)

The individual walking with Perlaza suffered serious injuries in the crash, according to the prosecutor. Family told ABC 7 Eyewitness News he was walking with a date when he was hit.

Perlaza would have celebrated his 23rd birthday on Monday.

Driver Dhkir Robinson, 42, was arrested Sunday. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death; operating a motor vehicle resulting in death with a suspended license; and endangering an injured victim.

Dhkir Robinson
Dhkir Robinson (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

"Always had a joke"

His family held a candlelight vigil Saturday night and released balloons in his honor at a home in Paterson. His tearful brother and sister wearing a "forever in our hearts" sweatshirt remembered his sense of humor.

"He always had a joke. Always made everyone laugh. That was his personality. He was so outgoing. Nothing's going to bring that back," they told CBS New York.

A viewing for Perlaza is scheduled for Saturday at the Funeraria Alvarez, 66 Passaic Avenue in Passaic from 4 to 8 p.m.

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