Denver Fugitive Arrested at Sky Harbor Airport; Suspect Was Catching Connecting Flight to Mexico, Cops Say
Here's a tip: If you're trying to fly to Mexico to evade a felony warrant, you may want to pony up the extra couple of bucks for a direct flight.
Apparently, 37-year-old Norma Vera-Nolasko didn't heed that advice, as Phoenix police arrested her at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport around 9 p.m. Wednesday on a warrant related to a hit-and-run death in Denver.
Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson tells New Times Vera-Nolasko was one of four people arrested in connection with the hit-and-run death of a 21-year-old parking valet at a Denver nightclub Saturday night.
On Wednesday, just before Phoenix police say Vera-Nolasko's flight was to take off from Phoenix, the Denver Police Department called PPD officers stationed at Sky Harbor saying she may be trying to catch a flight to Mexico under an alias.
Police found that she was on US Airways Flight 175, which was scheduled to depart for Mexico City just before 8 p.m. and had already pulled away from the gate, according to court documents obtained by New Times.
"She was flying through Phoenix, literally seconds away from freedom," Phoenix police Sergeant Tommy Thompson says.
When the flight returned to the gate, Vera-Nolasko was standing at the door of the plane, telling a flight attendant she was trying "to avoid the embarrassment of being arrested amid the other passengers," according to court documents.
During a search of Vera-Nolasko after her arrest, they discovered a Mexican passport with the alias Yolanda Batista Nolasco she had used to purchase the plane tickets, as well as the boarding pass for her flight from Denver to Phoenix, according to the courts.
Jackson said details of the hit-and-run, including whether Vera-Nolasko was driving the vehicle that struck the valet, have not yet been released.
Vera-Nolasko was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on the fugitive from justice warrant for a hit-and-run involving a death.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- Video: Downtown Scottsdale Melee Shuts Down Street
- Police Arrest Suspect in Glendale's Oldest Cold Case Murder
- Governor Doug Ducey Severs Private Prison Contract Following Riots