Fugitive accused of running over officer in '99 held


A man accused of running over a Utah police officer with a stolen vehicle in 1999 and skipping bail after his arrest in California in 2003 was jailed Friday in Nevada after he was found working at a Strip casino, police said.

The man known to police in Orem, Utah, as Reinhold Neumann was arrested late Thursday at the Imperial Palace hotel-casino and held at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas under the name Joaquin Lopez-Caraballo. The 36-year-old fugitive was due for an extradition hearing Tuesday in Clark County District Court.

Orem police Sgt. Craig Martinez said Lopez-Caraballo has a history of slipping through the grasp of authorities. He was wanted on a parole violation in California and on four other warrants in Utah, including one charging him with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

As Reinhold Neumann, he was accused of running over Orem police officer Garrett Smit with a sport utility vehicle in November 1999 after Smit and officer John McCombs found him asleep in the driver's seat of the idling vehicle.

McCombs was bitten, punched and bloodied when he reached inside to fetch the keys, Martinez said.

Smit shot several times at the vehicle before he was struck and left with serious leg, rib, back and lung injuries.

Neumann was arrested in Pasadena, Calif., in 2003 and sent to Utah to face charges. He was freed on $50,000 bond and disappeared again, Martinez said.

As Lopez-Caraballo, he was identified as a wanted man after he was arrested Aug. 11 in Las Vegas on charges including drunken driving and resisting arrest, Las Vegas police said Friday. He was released from jail after that arrest, but authorities discovered a fingerprint match to Neumann, so tracked him down and arrested him Thursday.

 

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