MIAMI – Ariel Perez-Perez was the driver of a stolen van that collided into two police vehicles early Friday morning during a chase in the city of Miami, authorities say.
He’s been charged with fleeing police, grand theft, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
Jorge Luis Ramirez-Linton, whom police say was a passenger in the van, was also arrested has been charged with trespassing and resisting an officer without violence.
According to Miami police spokesman Mike Vega, officers spotted the van shortly after 3 a.m., and it matched the description of a van involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash that occurred in April.
Vega said officers attempted to stop the driver, but he fled, eventually crashing into two police vehicles in the area of Northwest 24th Avenue and 48th Street. The suspects were taken into custody Friday but weren’t immediately identified by police.
“All we heard was the sirens and the bang, and I was like, ‘What happened?’ Everything’s so dark,” Reyna Gomez told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright.
While the van was confirmed to be stolen, Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said detectives determined that it was not the same van used in a fatal hit-and-run in April.
According to police, that hit-and-run occurred around 8:40 p.m. April 11 and left a pedestrian, identified as Geovany Merlos Ramos, 39, dead. Police said Ramos was crossing Southwest Eighth Avenue at Second Street when he was struck by a white, 1999-2002 Dodge Ram 1500 van. Authorities said the van had no rear-side windows.