Arrest made in Wilkes-Barre hit-and-run




  • In US
  • 2021-03-05 05:01:00Z
  • By Tribune Publishing

Mar. 5-WILKES-BARRE - A New York man who fled police and caused a hit-and-run crash that cost a local woman her leg was captured Thursday in North Carolina, Wilkes-Barre police said.

Unique Levon Jones, 29, is facing aggravated assault and reckless endangerment charges in the crash that severely injured Angela Velazquez, 38, police said. The downtown crash on Feb. 10 resulted in Velazquez's right leg being amputated below the knee and broke several of her bones, according to her family.

Velazquez, of Kingston, was on her way to get a money order to pay her rent when she was hit, family members have said.

At the same time, Jones was driving a stolen car and was pulled over by police in the Heights section, according to police.

Jones, however, sped off from the stop on South Empire Street, prompting police to initiate a chase, police said.

Jones lost officers in the Heights section, and a female passenger who was in the car when it was stolen jumped out of the moving vehicle in the area of South Sherman and East Northampton streets, according to police.

Minutes later, police spotted the car at Pennsylvania Avenue and East Northampton Street.

As officers resumed their pursuit, Jones went around a vehicle stopped at East Northampton and South Main streets and ran a red light, hitting Velazquez as she crossed the street, police said.

Officers immediately stopped to attend to Velazquez, applying pressure and a tourniquet to her injured leg as they waited for medics to arrive, according to police.

Additional officers responded but were unable to find the driver.

However, police say their investigation identified the driver as Jones, and investigators got a warrant charging him with aggravated assault, theft of a vehicle and reckless endangerment.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force captured Jones in North Carolina on Thursday afternoon, police said. Details about his capture were not immediately available.

Jones, who was also wanted for parole violations in New York, was being held in North Carolina pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

Contact the writer: jhalpin@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2058

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