SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Police Monday announced a 31-year-old man was arrested in connection with a Halloween hit-and-run that killed three teens.
Jaquinn Bell was booked Sunday for hit-and-run and felony causing death after allegedly striking and killing three girls who were trick-or-tricking in Santa Ana, according to Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas.
The incident took place around 6:45 p.m. Friday at 1400 East Fairhaven Avenue in front of Easthaven Elementary School.
A damaged black 2001 Honda SUV was found a short distance from where the accident occurred.
“We had numerous witnesses that were able to give us good information and good leads for our investigators to follow, so we immediately started an around-the-clock investigation,” Rojas said, adding, “There were no skid marks or attempt for hip to stop.”
The investigation, which was assisted by multiple agencies, led officials to a motel in Stanton where they took Jaquinn Bell and two other adults into custody. Two minors were also taken into protected custody at that time, according to officials.
The two adults were later released and the children were handed over to a legal guardian.
Police believe Bell, who was driving with a suspended license, was behind the wheel of the Honda with his two children at the time of the incident. According to the DMV, his license was suspended on Aug. 4.
Court records reveal multiple arrests and convictions. Bell, who goes by six other aliases, pleaded not guilty into 2009 to driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and driving without a valid license. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
Last August, Bell was convicted of chimed endangerment in Anaheim, as well as driving under the influence and hit-and-run.
The question authorities can’t answer is whether Bell was under the influence during his alleged involvement in the Halloween hit-and-run.
The case is being reviewed by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Bell was being held on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, when he is expected to be charged.
There has meanwhile been an outpouring of community support for the families of the three girls, with donations continuing to come in for their funerals. GoFundMe accounts have been set up for the Perez twins and Gonzales.
Students at Portola Middle School wore purple Monday to honor the twin girls, while candles at a curbside vigil remembering all three victims were still flickering on Fairhaven Avenue Monday night.