Police arrest suspect in fatal Belltown crash

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Police have arrested a 47-year-old suspect in this fatal crash in Belltown last September. One person died when a pickup and an SUV slammed into an apartment building at 3rd and Wall St.

A man accused of trying to swipe a snack from a store without paying now faces a much more serious criminal charge.  He’s accused of murder for allegedly causing a death in a fatal crash last year.

Seattle police officers responded to a grocery store at 2nd and Battery in Belltown just after midnight this morning, after an employee flagged them down to to report a shoplifter.  The employee said a man standing outside the store had just walked out with a package of beef jerky without paying for it.

The officers asked for the man’s name, but he gave them one that came back with no record.  Then they noticed a dog tag around his neck with a different name.  They asked to look at that and the man agreed.  That’s when they found out the 47-year-old was a suspect with a warrant for his arrest on a charge of second degree murder.

It turns out the Seattle Police Traffic Collision Investigation Squad requested the warrant after probable cause was determined for the suspect, following a bad crash that killed one person last September.  The crash took place just a few blocks from where he was arrested.

On September 18th, police say a stolen pickup with three people inside was heading north in an alley near 3rd and Wall St. when it plowed into an SUV, sending both vehicles into two different apartments of a nearby building.  A passenger in the truck eventually died from the injuries.  The crash left two others in critical condition.  No one in the apartments was hurt.

This morning, officers obtained the wanted bulletin and photo of the suspect issued by the detective and confirmed the shoplifting suspect was also the suspect in the fatal crash.   Officers later found his driver’s license in his pocket, as he was booked into the King County Jail.

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