A previously deported and released illegal alien is accused of killing a father of three daughters in a drunk driving hit-and-run crash in upstate New York.
Heriberto R. Perez-Velasquez, a 31-year-old illegal alien from Guatemala, hit and killed 59-year-old Mark Knapp in Weedsport, New York, on November 10, according to the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office. Police said Knapp was driving his tractor to get it washed when Perez-Velasquez was drunk driving and hit the father of three. Knapp was a retired electrician and belonged to the local IBEW Local 43 union.
Knapp, police said, was thrown from the tractor and died. Knapp leaves behind his wife, Sharon Hildebrant, as well as their three daughters, Samantha Knapp, Kaitlynne Knapp, and Christy Stoneburg, and his grandson, Coby.
Following the crash, police said the illegal alien fled the scene, but was eventually stopped by sheriff’s deputies and a pedestrian. Aside from allegedly driving drunk, Perez-Velasquez had been driving without a license and he was not authorized to be driving the car, police said.
A month before the deadly hit-and-run, though, Perez-Velasquez was released by Wayne County, New York, officials and not turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after he was arrested for drunk driving.
In that drunk driving case, police said Perez-Velasquez ran from officers but was eventually caught and charged.
“Had Mr. Perez-Velasquez been detained by ICE after his October 2019, DUI arrest, a life might have been spared,” Acting ICE Director Matt Albence told CNY Central. “Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and jeopardizing the lives of law-abiding citizens.”
Wayne County officials confirmed that Perez-Velasquez was not turned over to ICE due to a series of legal complications, and instead was given an order to appear in court.
ICE officials confirmed that Perez-Velasquez was previously arrested by Border Patrol agents in May 2007 after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. He was nearly immediately deported back to his native Guatemala, but returned to the U.S. at an unknown date.
Perez-Velasquez is currently being held on a $50,000 bond and ICE has issued a detainer requesting that should he be released from local custody at any time that he be turned over to federal immigration officials for arrest and deportation.
Story cited here.