Christopher Thompson of Oakland Park, Florida was arrested nearly two weeks after he allegedly killed Gabriel Amaya in a hit-and-run car accident, according to news reports. Thompson, 37, has been arrested on charges of driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, and tampering with evidence. He also reportedly had an unrelated warrant for driving with a revoked license. Thompson remains incarcerated in Broward County’s Main Jail on the charges. It remains to be seen whether he will qualify for bail bond. It was not immediately clear whether Thompson has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to news reports, Gabriel Amaya was a 17-year-old Broward County resident. Amaya was a native of El Salvador and had just gotten to the States in April 2011 to live with relatives. He was reportedly attending English classes at Whiddon-Rogers Education Center in Fort Lauderdale and eventually wanted to join the U.S. Air Force. However, those dreams came to a halt on June 14, when Amaya was riding his bicycle across a crosswalk at around 10:00 in the evening.
As Amaya rode acroos the crosswalk, located at the intersection of Powerline Road and West Prospect Road in Oakland Park, he was allegedly struck by a 1995 black Chevy Tahoe. It is not clear whether Amaya had safety reflectors on his bicycle.The driver allegedly stopped the vehicle, got out of the car to survey the scene, then re-entered the Tahoe and drove off. There were purportedly several witnesses to the hit-and-run, though none appear to have talked directly to the press. Amaya was pronounced dead a short time after the hospital at Broward Health Medical Center. His body was later transported back to El Salvador for burial.
On the Monday following the crash, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office asked the public to keep an eye out for Thompson, who allegedly drives a 1995 black Chevy Tahoe. Initial reports claimed that Thompson had important information about the case, not that he was a suspect. Broward citizens responded, and authorities were able to surmise that Thompson was staying with his girlfriend and their 6-year-old child in Oakland Park. The Broward Sheriff’s Office then asked for the public to watch out for the girlfirends’ 2004 gold Nissan, which was spotted in the 700 block of Commercial Boulevard.
When deputies stopped the vehicle, they found Thompson inside. He was promptly arrested for the hit-and-run. The couple’s son was in the care of a relative at the time. The child, however, will likely continue to live with his mother while Thompson is incarcerated. It is not clear whether the 6-year-old will be attending school in the fall.
Soon after the arrest, authorities reportedly located Thompson’s vehicle at a Port St. Lucie tow yard. It did not display the damage to the mirror, grill, and light that earlier reports had connected to the hit-and-run vehicle. Authorities claim that it had already been repaiered. The car has likely since been confiscated as evidence.