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Man arrested in hit-and-run death of young Metro Explorer

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Updated: 8/02/2013 7:49 pm
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas Metro Police Department Explorer died on Thursday night after being struck by a suspected impaired driver.

According to witness statements and evidence at the scene, LVMPD Explorer Angel Velasquez, 19, was traveling east on Sahara Avenue on a 2013 Honda Motorcycle when the driver of a 2013 Volkswagen struck him as he was approaching Van Patten Street.

Velasquez later died at Sunrise Hospital of his injuries.

Police have arrested 29-year-old Jvon Williams, the driver of the vehicle.

Williams was booked for DUI and Duty to Stop at Scene of an Accident. Williams’ prior arrests include a DUI and reckless driving in 2007 and 2008.

Velasquez's family is grieving his death. The Metro Explorer had one more year to go, and he had already been promoted to Captain. His father Ernesto Velasquez is very proud of his son.

The young man's room is now laid out with his Explorer's uniform, yearbook and other mementos. There is even a scrapbook of the young Velasquez showing his fascination with the outdoors and hunting.

His father says Angel knew at a very young age that he wanted to become a police officer.

"When he was in his senior year, he applied for the Explorer's Academy, which he got accepted and he was still an active Explorer. He did a lot of ride-alongs. He was pretty much liked by everyone he came across," Velasquez said.

He was studying Criminology at CSN, and dreamed of becoming a SWAT officer some day.

Now his family has been trying to come to grips with the reality of Velasquez' death following the fatal wreck Thursday night at Sahara and Van Patten.

Meanwhile, Ernest Velasquez, has some requests of the community as the family prepares to bury Angel.

"Pray, and once again if there is something we can do to prevent this from happening again, I don't know how we can do that but reporting drunk drivers, reporting people not driving, you know bad driving habits," Ernest Velasquez said.

A carwash is planned by fellow Explorers Saturday at the Brake Masters parking lot at Eastern and Windmill from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A benefit memorial fund has been established also for Angel Velasquez at Wells Fargo.

Funeral arrangements are still being made but it is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. The viewing is scheduled Tuesday at the Palm Mortuary on 1325 North Main Street from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Velasquez became an Explorer at 16-years old, learning everything he could about the police department he hoped to one-day join. After three months as an Explorer, he tested for Captain, scoring a 98 percent.

“He was an energizing leader,” said Officer Krista Bullard, his Explorer advisor. “He was our go-to guy.”

Bullard said Velasquez went on two ride-a-longs a week because he loved learning about law enforcement. Velasquez was a Criminal Justice student at the College of Southern Nevada and helped at many Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department events such as the Southern Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial, commendations ceremonies and most recently the funeral of Officer David VanBuskirk.

Velasquez was dedicated to helping his family, giving half his paycheck to help out with expenses.

Fellow Explorers are holding a car wash fundraiser tomorrow, August 3 at Brake Masters on Windmill and Eastern 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help with funeral expenses.

A bank fund is also being set up in Velasquez’ name. For more information go to www.lvmpdexplorers.com.

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