Key Biscayne officers thought they were investigating a routine bike theft – an all too common occurrence on the island. When they caught the alleged thief, they discovered the man was wanted on a fugitive warrant for homicide in Pennsylvania.
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“I think if you look into history, that’s how most of our most notorious killers are caught – at a traffic stop or a routine investigation,” said Key Biscayne Police Chief Frank Sousa. “This is just another example of the excellent police work that is done here. We’re not immune from the dangers of society.”
Leighton Weaver, 21, is wanted by New Castle, Pa. authorities for shooting into a car, killing the driver on April 20, according to news reports. The man drove off, crashing into a utility pole, catching the car afire. A manhunt pursued Weaver, reported to be a past felon not allowed to have a firearm. The Key Biscayne Independent was not able to immediately confirm the details of the warrant. Calls to officials in New Castle, near the state’s border with Ohio, were not immediately returned.
Weaver made his way to Florida and to Key Biscayne where police say he nabbed a $500 bicycle at The Galleria shopping center on Wednesday night. While canvassing the area, officers spotted Weaver and the bicycle. He initially refused to identify himself, Sousa said.
“He had given us variations of the spelling of his name. And an officer using our investigative skills, along with dispatch, were able to come up with this possible identity,” Sousa said.
They brought Weaver down to Miami-Dade County Warrants Bureau where Weaver was identified as the man wanted in the death of 42-year-old Lance Louis.
According to a criminal complaint reported on by the New Castle News, a witness told police Weaver asked him to set up a meeting with him and the victim. When Louis arrived at the meeting spot he refused to get out of the car. The witness told police he saw Weaver standing at the driver’s side wind with a handgun.
Louis was declared dead at the hospital from a gunshot wound. A female passenger suffered compound fractures to her legs in the fiery crash that followed the shooting.
According to the court docket, Weaver’s hearing on extradition is on Monday. He faces the fugitive warrant as well as charges of resisting arrest without violence and petty theft.