Charles Permint, a 74-year-old retired Philadelphia police officer, was killed in a Delaware smash-up by an ex-con who was wanted by the law for violating parole.
An SUV driven by Rashai Harmon, 26, slammed into a car being driven by the Permint’s wife, Ludmilla, who told The News Journal, that it was bitterly ironic a fugitive was involved, consider her late husband spent years netting bad guys.
Cops caught up with Harmon soon after the accident Saturday on Forest Road in Harbeson. They said they had earlier been chasing Harmon but called it off for fear of such a tragedy.
"He stopped this one last criminal from doing God knows what," the 60-year-old widow said of her husband, who was in the passenger seat. "And he did not suffer."
Harmon, of Lewes, Del., blew through a stop sign just before the fatal impact, which also injured the Permint’s granddaughter and another passenger.
Permint, who spent his entire law enforcement career in Philly, joined the force in 1966 and retired in October 2001 as a detective.
Before that, he had served in the Marines and then opened a John’s bargain store, becoming the first black man to own one of the chain’s outlets, she said.
"He was a fabulous man," Ludmilla Permint told The News Journal. "Always fair, and always honest. He's the type of man you could trust with your life."
He was dedicated father too, devoted to his son, also named Charles, and they were both active in the Lewes Church of Christ, where, reports The News Journal, a funeral is being planned.
"He loved the Lord. He was faithful," Mrs. Permint said. "I wish I had told him these things more…”
Harmon was wanted for probation violations and other charges.
Now, he’s also charged with murder.