A Pennsylvania man on the run from murder charges is now in custody, thanks to a concerned citizen who spotted his car just moments after an Amber Alert was issued.
Antonio Velasquez-Rupert has been charged with homicide and and kidnapping. He is accused of killing Amanda Downs of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, and abducting their eight-month-old daughter, Ariella Downs.
The baby was in Valasquez-Rupert’s car when police apprehended him following the Amber Alert tip from security guard Daniel Derturck.
“I happened to see the green Explorer come speeding up to the stop sign,” Derturck told WFMZ news in Pennsylvania. “They stopped real quick, then just slowly eased around the corner.” Detrurck called 911 and “took off after him,” he said. Eventually he lost track of the car, but by then police were on the SUV’s tail. Valasquez-Rupert was in custody within minutes of the 911 call.
Now being hailed as a hero, Deturck says he was just doing what he hopes any citizen would do.
“I work in security,” said Deturck. “We’re trained to respond on anything and everything that we see, and my training kicked in,” adding, “I just hope that people everywhere across the country can use me as an example, that there is a shining light worth standing up for… to do the right thing.”
Antonio Velasquez-Rupert has a long criminal history, with over a dozen charges since 1998, including assault. This is his first murder charge. He allegedly killed Downs with blunt force trauma to the head.
Photo: Reading Police Department