An ex-convict who reportedly engaged police officers in a 40-minute car chase was charged with several traffic citations but failed to appear at his arraignment yesterday.
That prompted Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Naraja to issue a bench warrant in the amount of $5,000 against the suspect, Vincent San Nicolas Norita.
The Office of the Attorney General charged Norita with eluding a police officer, reckless driving, speeding, running a red light, failure to follow traffic signs, and unsafe passing.
Eluding and reckless driving have the maximum penalty each of six months imprisonment. The remaining charges are all payable fines, Saipan Tribune learned.
It was Norita who was allegedly involved in a car chase that ended when his car hit an embankment and overturned in Koblerville on the evening of Dec. 9, 2016.
The OAG dismissed without prejudice last month the car-chase charges against Norita. Dismissal without prejudice means the government may re-file the case in the future. Assistant attorney general Jonathan Robert Glass Jr. stated at that time that the case is still being investigated.
The Department of Public Safety has yet to provide the OAG with a report about the car chase.
The car chase went viral after a bystander took a video of a police officer, who appeared to be repeatedly hitting the suspect, Norita, with a baton or stick as he lay on the ground.
Police said that Norita’s car, a white 2011 Toyota Yaris four-door sedan with license plate ADZ-841 was speeding and nearly hit several pedestrians during a pursuit that happened in the evening last Dec. 9.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services disclosed that upon medics’ assessment at the scene, the driver, Norita, stated he had pain on the back of his right shoulder blade.