Man takes Delray Beach police on wild chase, stops to play with cats

By Staff Reporter - 03 Sep '14 17:27PM

A 21-year-old man on the run from police was caught last Tuesday mainly because he stopped to play with kittens, according to WPBF.

Daniel Pinedo Velapatino, 21, was accused of stealing thousands of dollars in cash from a friend's wallet, crashing a Lexus into a number of cars, including a police cruiser and a fire hydrant before he fled on foot. The spree started around 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday when a friend said he saw him leave a Boca Raton hotel room after a night of doing drugs.

In the early hours of the morning, Velapatino talked his way into a woman's home in Boca Raton, Florida, after leading police on a wild chase from Delray Beach.

The homeowner, Candace Noonan, thought Velapatino was a landscaper. He knocked on her door last Tuesday to ask for a drink.

"I said, 'Excuse me, can I help you?'" Noonan told WPBF. "He said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry. Next door, I'm mowing the lawn. Do you mind if I have a glass of water?'"

When she returned with the water, Velapatino was lying on her floor, playing with her cats.

"It was odd, very odd," she said. "He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped."

Noonan's husband suspected something was wrong with Velpatino and he began questioning him, causing Velpatino to flee out the back door. The Noonans led police to him, and he allegedly attempted to jump in a nearby canal -- but a police boat caught up to him.

After Pinedo-Velapatino was arrested, he confessed to taking the money from his friend, he told police he needed $2,000 to pay his mom back.

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