DALLAS — Two suspects in a hit-and-run accident Tuesday morning that killed a Cedar Hill police officer's 13-year-old son and left the boy's mother in critical condition were arrested Friday in Florida.
Dallas Police Lt. Max Geron said Dagoberto Castanon, 25, and Rogelio Avila, 24, were taken into custody by U.S. Marshals at a trailer park in North Ft. Myers, Fla. around 7 p.m. CST.
Police believe Castanon and Avila were driving a stolen minivan in Highland Park Tuesday when they ran a stop sign. A Highland Park police officer attempted to pull over the minivan, but the driver fled, running another stop sign and driving erratically. The officer abandoned the pursuit after he lost sight of the suspects as they drove into Dallas, but followed their last known path where he found the minivan crashed into a Nissan Versa.
The Versa was carrying 13-year-old Ethan Vasquez and his 40-year-old mother, Sandy. Ethan died at the scene and his mother was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Her husband, Cedar Hill police officer Victor Vasquez, said Friday his wife was recovering and would be released from the intensive care unit soon.
The suspects escaped the crash scene on foot. Police found an assault rifle in the minivan and said the vehicle had been wiped clean of fingerprints.
However, Lt. Geron said investigators did find a phone in the car, believed to belong to Castanon. They tracked down his girlfriend using the phone, and she told investigators that the morning of the crash, Castanon arrived at her home with cuts on his head. Police said he told her he and Avila had been in a crash in a stolen van.
The girlfriend told police she had given her old phone to Castanon, and after he showed up injured at her home, he asked her to cancel the service on the phone.
Castanon asked the woman to go to Mexico with him, but she refused, according to the arrest warrant. She said the last time she spoke to him was the day of the crash, when she dropped him off at Rogelio Avila's home.
The girlfriend also told investigators Castanon told her he was unsure if the persons in the other vehicle survived.
Castanon and Avila will be charged with capital murder because they were in the process of committing a felony when the fatal crash occurred.
Each suspect is being held on $500,000 bond. Dallas police said they will send detectives to Florida next week, but extradition could take even longer.