3 burglary suspects arrested after fatal crash

3 burglary suspects arrested after fatal crash

January 18, 2012 6:12:55 PM PST
An innocent man has been killed in a high-speed police chase in Newark. Three suspected burglars were racing away from police when they slammed into another car at 80 mph.

All of the three suspects are from the East Bay and have an extensive criminal history. What started as a 911 call for a home burglary ended in a car chase and tragedy.

The suspects' vehicle went airborne and flipped over, landing at least 100 yards from the Honda it smashed into at the intersection of Cherry Street and Mowry Avenue. The innocent driver of the Honda was killed in an impact that could be heard for blocks.

"With the debris that is all over the intersection, it looks like something blew up and that's what it actually sounded like, something blew up," said Stan Abel of Newark.

The entire incident started shortly before 10 a.m. on Mistflower Avenue. A neighbor called 911 to say a burglary was taking place at a home there. The caller saw three men kick in the door and gave police a vehicle description. Police tried to make a traffic stop.

"The driver of the vehicle failed to yield and accelerated quickly out of the area. Estimated speeds were approximately 80 mph," said Newark Police Cmdr. Bob Douglas.

Police say there was a short pursuit that was called off about a mile and a half before the fatal crash.

"Because of the suspects' reckless and erratic driving, our officer called off the pursuit. To make it clear, our officer was not pursuing the vehicle when the collision occurred," said Bob.

Police arrested two of the suspects immediately, one with serious injuries requiring surgery. Police launched a search for a third suspect who ran away. Officers found him hiding about a mile away, took him into custody, and he too was transported to the hospital.

"It's very sad and it actually makes me angry that someone who is innocent, nothing to do with the situation, [lost] his life," said Kevin Crowe of Newark.

Police released the names and mug shots of the suspects. They are: Rajwaun Watkins, 20, Jabrie Watts, 20, and Deshon Collier, 20, with connections to Hayward, San Leandro, and Oakland. They are being held on parole and probation violations while police gather the evidence from this case to present to the district attorney.

The tragedy, of course, is that a Fremont man has lost his life.