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Police arrest two in robbery of dying woman in Taco Bell drive-through

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at 10:47 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, at 8:20 a.m.

Photos

In 2013, Daquantrius Shaquill Johnson and Quanique Dontrell Thomas-Hameen were co-defendants in a Wichita burglary case.

Now, police suspect the two 19-year-olds of being partners in crime again. This time, the alleged crime has caused widespread outrage because it was seen as the epitome of cold-heartedness.

Capt. Brent Allred said Monday that police have arrested two men and are seeking a third in a Dec. 29 incident in which someone stole from a woman who suffered a fatal brain aneurysm at a Taco Bell drive-through on East Harry.

As Danielle Zimmerman suffered the aneurysm, her truck struck a speaker box and came to a stop in the drive-through. She had gone to get dinner for her family. As she lay stricken in her vehicle, someone took her purse, iPhone and the wedding ring off her finger.

Allred didn’t disclose the two arrested men’s names; they have not been charged. But according to jail records, they are Johnson and Thomas-Hameen.

Johnson is listed on the state corrections website as an absconder from Sedgwick County Community Corrections after being convicted of burglary in 2013. According to an Oct. 17 warrant, police alleged he committed criminal discharge of a firearm on Oct. 14. The warrant accused him of violating terms of his supervision. As of Oct. 17, he was listed as absconder whose whereabouts were unknown.

As a juvenile, Johnson was sentenced in 2012 for aggravated sexual battery and misdemeanor theft, court records show.

Thomas-Hameen has been under intensive supervision by Community Corrections after being convicted of burglary and theft last year, records show.

On Monday, Johnson was being held in jail on suspicion of robbery, criminal possession of a firearm and a probation violation, with bonds totaling $315,000.

Thomas-Hameen was being held on suspicion of robbery and various traffic charges, with a bond totaling $200,500.

The robbery of the critically ill woman prompted widespread outrage. Danielle Zimmerman died the day after being taken from the drive-through to a hospital in critical condition. She and her husband, Kris, had been married 21 years. They have two sons, 18 and 13.

Kris Zimmerman said Monday that the two arrests gave him some relief. “It helps maybe bring a little bit of closure,” and it shows that Crime Stoppers works and that the community is helping to solve the crime, he said. Police said a tip to Crime Stoppers led to the arrests.

As for Danielle Zimmerman’s teenage sons, “they can’t believe that somebody would do that … a crime like that to somebody in her condition,” Kris Zimmerman said.

“It’s kind of a cruel wake-up call for them.”

He said they have taught their sons to help people in need, “not take advantage of them.”

The arrests of Johnson and Thomas-Hameen came late Friday night after Crime Stoppers received a tip late Friday morning. Police immediately followed up on the tip, said Allred, the police captain.

With the arrests, police recovered some of Danielle Zimmerman’s missing property but not the wedding ring, Allred said.

The ring has a special, sentimental value, Kris Zimmerman said. It is described as a white gold wedding ring with diamonds.

Police are hopeful about recovering all the property in their ongoing investigation, Allred said.

The two men were arrested at about 10 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of South Broadway, Allred said. The third suspect, who is still being sought, is also 19.

Police expect to present the case to prosecutors this week, Allred said.

Allred said police would still like to talk to the driver of a silver car that was in front of Danielle Zimmerman’s car when she had the aneurysm.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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