Man in car chase is arrested again


An ex-convict who allegedly had a 40-minute car chase with police and was charged with several traffic citations, but failed to appear at his arraignment was arrested yesterday afternoon.

The CNMI Marshal Service Division served the bench warrant on Vincent San Nicolas Norita when he showed up at the Superior Court yesterday, Saipan Tribune learned.

Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja issued the bench warrant in the amount of $5,000 after Norita failed to appear at his arraignment last Jan. 12.

At a bench warrant hearing yesterday afternoon, Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho denied assistant public defender Michael Sato’s request to quash the bench warrant.

Camacho believes that Norita is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

He noted that Norita is accused of speeding and eluding police officers while traveling from Chalan Laulau to Garapan to Tanapag to Koblerville.

The judge said Norita may file a motion to modify bail.

Norita, through counsel, entered a not-guilty plea.

A change of plea hearing will be held on March 9, 2017, at 1:30pm.

At the hearing yesterday, Sato argued that Norita’s failure to appear at his arraignment was a misunderstanding on the counsel’s and on defendant’s part considering that the government already dismissed the criminal charges against the defendant.

Assistant attorney general Jonathan Glass Jr., counsel for the government, opposed Sato’s request, pointing out that Norita is a flight risk as one of the charges is eluding police officers.

Sato said the government should treat Norita like anybody else as the government has not been opposed quashing bench warrants.

“It makes me wonder what’s the motive? I’m quite concerned about it,” Sato said.

Glass said there is nothing different in this case.

The Office of the Attorney General recently charged Norita with eluding police officers, reckless driving, speeding, running a red light, failure to follow traffic signs, and unsafe passing.

The OAG dismissed the criminal charges last month.

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 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 beside the overturned car.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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