Arrests Made in Hit & Run Death
Tuesday, San Angelo Police arrested Christopher Lee Mata and Nicole Lorelle Johnson of San Angelo in connection to the fatal hit and run crash that occurred on South Chadbourne Street in August that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Joe Carlos Lopez.
Tuesday afternoon, Detectives with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division obtained Arrest Warrants for Mata and Johnson and located the pair just before 4:00 p.m. at Lone Star Meat Packing, 2150 E 37th Street. Mata and Johnson were taken into custody without incident and subsequently booked into the Tom Green County Jail for 2nd Degree Felony Failure to Stop and Render Aid (Accident Involving Death).
Mata and Johnson became persons of interest in mid-September after police received an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip from someone who had viewed a video plea for help featuring Lopez’s mother, Rose Lopez. [http://bit.ly/Justice4JoeLopez]
After following up on the tip, Police developed information about the location of the white 2002 Ford Expedition driven at the time of the crash, as well as information about the pair’s efforts to conceal the incident by repairing and eventually discarding the vehicle.
Lopez was killed as he was riding his skateboard on Chadbourne Street near East Avenue I on August 2, 2015 around 2:30 a.m. The suspect vehicle’s color, make and model were discovered after police obtained surveillance video from a location near the crash site.
Since Lopez’s death, members of the Department’s Traffic Section, Criminal Investigations Division, Patrol Division, Crime Analysis Unit, CSI Unit, Special Operations Section, Narcotics Section, Crime Stoppers Unit, and Office of Public Information have worked together to follow leads and locate the persons responsible for Lopez’s death and help bring closure to his family.