Cops Catch North Carolina Murder Suspect
A man wanted for murder in North Carolina was locked up this week after police from the 100 Precinct pulled him over for running a red light in Arverne and checked his record.
Lieutenant Julien Antkies and Police Officer Purcell, a rookie, stopped Juan Pedro Dela Cruz, 30, after they saw him drive his 1997 Ford through a solid red light near Beach Channel Drive and Arverne Boulevard, police said.
The officers discovered that Cruz, who sometimes adds Fabela to the end of his name, is wanted for the 1999 murder of Daniel Vargas Garcia, 34, according to the Wake County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office.
Cruz allegedly shot Garcia several times at Adam’s Place – a convenience store with a pool room in the back – after an argument, according to a story in the News & Observer, a North Carolina newspaper.
A surveillance camera captured grainy images of Cruz, who was accompanied by two other men, as he bought chewing gum and got quarters for a pool table prior to the shooting, according to the story. But the images were too grainy when Wake County investigators replayed the video at their headquarters. Mean while, investigators interviewed Cruz, but didn’t have enough evidence to hold him.
Witnesses were later shown the video on the unit at Adam’s Place, which yielded clearer images, and led to Cruz being identified as the gunman. But Cruz was able to elude N.C. lawmen for years.
The fugitive took up residence at 176 Beach 115 Street, but it was unclear how long he lived there. Cruz is charged with first degree murder.