US drunk driving killer found in Spain after 3 years on run

Christopher Ponce was arrested in Almeria with a fake Mexican passport after three years on the run for a drunk driving death in Florida.

US drunk driving killer found in Spain after 3 years on run
Chris Ponce was arrested with a fake Mexican passport. Photo: Interpol

The parents of 20-year-old William Angel had never given up their battle to bring the man responsible for their son’s death on June 19th, 2012 to justice.

They had spent hours trawling social media in the hope of finding a trace of Ponce, who went on the run after cutting of his ankle-monitoring bracelet while on bail awaiting trail for DUI manslaughter.

But in the end it was a casual encounter at Almeria bus station that ended the three year manhunt.

A patrol unit became suspicious after Ponce attempted to sidle away towards the toilets as they entered the bus station on Monday evening. On requesting his ID card, he presented a travel card in one name and a fake Mexican passport in another, so officers took him down the station for formal identification.

Finger prints revealed he was a fugitive on Interpol’s wanted list.

Ponce, who had a previous DUI arrest and whose driving license had been suspended, is accused of driving drunk in the wrong direction on a highway when he slamming head-on into another car.

The crash killed 20-year-old William Angel and seriously injured two of his friends.

A toxicology report revealed that Ponce's blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit and he was placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor pending trial until he went on the run in May 2013.

He is now facing extradition to the United States.

The parents of his victim announced news of Ponce’s arrest on the website calling it a “great day” adding that they also want those that helped him escape to face charges.

They also posted the announcement on the Find Chris Ponce facebook page.

Sgt Steve Gaskins, an officer from Tampa police force involved in the case tweeted a shot of the Interpol most wanted notice.



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Denmark makes two arrests over prisoner breakout at hospital

Police have detained two people who they suspect of having helped a prisoner escape from a psychiatric hospital earlier this week.

Denmark makes two arrests over prisoner breakout at hospital
Police in Slagelse after Tuesday's breakout. Photo: Scanpix

The two men, aged 20 and 25, have denied helping to free prisoner Hemin Dilshad Saleh from a psychiatric ward in Slagelse on Tuesday, according to preliminary hearings Thursday at the town’s district court.

Defence lawyer Andro Vrlic representing the 20-year-old said that his client wishes to defend himself in court; the 25-year-old will not comment, his defence lawyer Susan Jørgensen said.

Both men denied charges against them before proceedings continued behind closed doors, thereby keeping the 20-year-old’s statement out of the public domain.

Earlier on Thursday, another man was remanded in custody for four weeks in absentia on the same grounds as the two arrested men. He is probably the same individual as a man arrested on Thursday by police in Hamburg, Germany, Ritzau reports.

The three men are suspected of planning the prisoner’s escape and carrying it out in coordination, according to allegations presented by the prosecution.

They are charged with participating in and assisting in the release of a prisoner, and also face a second charge for aggravated weapons and ammunition possession, and for pointing and threatening hospital staff with the guns.

Further, they are charged unlawful coercion for forcing two female employees to let them and Saleh out of a secure exit to the hospital.

Tuesday’s dramatic escape was made after two guns were smuggled into the hospital in a cake box, resulting in the escape of Saleh, 24.

Saleh is a leading figure in organized crime group NNV, which is connected to Copenhagen's Nørrebro area, according to Ritzau's reporting.

Shots were fired at the floor during the escape operation, and hospital staff were threatened.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has reported that the authorities fear that Saleh may have fled to either Germany or Sweden. Swedish authorities have been asked to tighten border controls.

The names of the three defendants in the case have been suppressed.

READ ALSO: Danish police in fugitive hunt after prisoner escapes from hospital ward