Vigil held in remembrance of hit-and-run victim


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Friends and advocates for the homeless gathered on Broad Street to remember a man who was hit by a car last month.

According to police said Steven Sceeles, 61, died after being run over on Pearl Street. Police said Sceeles may have been sleeping when he was hit.

Police later arrested Braulio Uceta Rodriguez, 40, of Providence, and charged him with duty to stop in an accident, death resulting, and duty to give information and render aid.

Megan Smith, an outreach worker with House of Hope, said Sceeles had just been housed at Crossroads but often spent time on the streets with his friends who remain homeless.

“Steve’s death is tragic in its own right,” Smith said. “But it’s also tragic as an exemplar of so many things that happen to so many people. This community is literally overlooked.”

“That’s the kind of thing that allows someone to hit a person and keep going,” she added.

Bobbie Joandeson, an employee at Crossroads, said when Sceeles came in, he was always in good spirits and loved to sing.

“He was always in a good mood, cheery,” Joandeson recalled. “He was just happy. Always smiling, always singing. Just a very good guy.”

Sara Melucci, an outreach worker with House of Hope echoed that sentiment.

“Steve was really a people person and he loved to sing and we were always singing along with him,” she said. “There was a real joy in him you can’t quite describe and he carried that with him everywhere he went in any circumstance and that brought joy to us, too.”

Acting EMS Chief of the Providence Fire Department Zach Kenyon also attended the vigil, saying he developed a friendship with Sceeles because he would regularly respond to the area.

“When we come here, and we have these people we see 10 minutes at a time – but we might see three times a day and we see every day of the year – you form a bond with them and a friendship,” Kenyon explained.

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