Florida man pets cats in middle of police chase

Daniel Pinedo-Velapatino, being pursued by police, paused to drink water and pet cats.

By Fred Lambert

BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- A man in South Florida stopped in the middle of being chased by police Friday to ask for water and pet some cats.

Authorities said Daniel Pinedo-Velapatino, 21, had stolen thousands in cash from his friend's wallet after a night of drug use. He then crashed a Lexus into multiple vehicles -- including a police cruiser -- and a fire hydrant before ditching the car.


Officers from Boca Raton and Delray Beach were pursuing Velapatino on foot when he showed up at Candice Noonan's back sliding glass door.

"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 Noonan returned with a bottle of water, she found the supposed landscaper inside her house, lying on the floor petting her cats, which she described as "very odd."

"It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped," she said.

Noonan's husband began questioning Velapatino, who fled the premises. Noonan said they realized what had happened when they noticed police vehicles passing outside.


The suspect attempted to escape by swimming across the nearby Intracoastal Waterway but was apprehended by a police boat.

Police said that Velapatino stole the money to pay back $2,000 to his mother.

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