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Man arrested in Oct. 27 fatal hit-and-run on North Arkansas

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at 11:03 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at 7:06 a.m.

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Wichita police have arrested a man suspected of driving a vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run on Oct. 27, a police official said Monday.

Javier Rizo has been booked into jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, police Capt. Brent Allred said.

Maria Martinez, 34, was killed when her vehicle was struck by another that had fled from a police stop at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 27.

The chase began when police spotted a disturbance in Old Town. As they approached, they saw a man wanted on two warrants get into a 2005 gray Chevrolet van.

The driver refused commands to stop, instead driving west on Douglas and then north on Market. In the 200 block of North Market, officers following the vehicle turned on lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the van over. But the van sped ahead, reaching speeds of 60 or 70 mph, before turning east on 13th and then north on Broadway.

Police called off the chase because of high speeds as the vehicle headed north on Broadway. The driver then turned west on 24th, running a stop sign at North Arkansas, where it struck Martinez’s vehicle. Police were not in pursuit of the vehicle at the time of the collision.

Martinez’s 39-year-old husband, a passenger in the sedan, also was injured in the crash.

The driver of the van fled before police arrived.

The arrest resulted from a tip that Crime Stoppers received, Allred said. Rizo was arrested in the 900 block of North Country Acres on Sunday morning. Police had previously arrested other suspects in the vehicle allegedly driven by Rizo, Allred said.

Contributing: Shelby Reynolds of The Eagle

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

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