Jason Pearl and Angel Landaverde were at the intersection of Nobadeer Farm Road and Milestone Road Sunday evening when they noticed a vehicle that was heavily damaged and driving at a very high rate of speed out of the intersection. They watched it blow past the stop sign and then floor it down Milestone Road.
The vehicle turned out to be the truck fleeing from Sunday evening’s hit-and-run accident on Old South Road. Pearl told the Current that while he and Landaverde did not know the hit-and-run had occurred at the time or why this vehicle was driving as recklessly as it was – they knew immediately they couldn’t sit back and watch the truck drive away freely.
“I turned to my buddy Angel and told him we need to turn around and chase after him because he is obviously racing to get away from an accident he caused – and nobody was following him or stopping him from leaving the area. We chased him down Milestone at about 85 mph until we caught up to him and we could see him watching us advance on him in his mirrors.”
The truck was being operated by Robert Curvelo Campos. Campos was eventually arrested and charged in court Monday morning for his role in the hit-and-run. He is facing charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of personal injury, failure to stop/yield, and a marked lanes violation.
But had it not been for the efforts of Pearl and Landaverde, the hit-and-run incident could have become a whole lot worse and resulted in more people being injured or even killed.
“We were at the intersection of Nobadeer Farm and Milestone Road when (Campos) jetted out of the intersection without looking for cars or waiting for a yield in traffic and almost caused another accident as he peeled tire through the intersection and floored it down milestone leaving his lane and entering ours,” Pearl told the Current. “We both swerved to the grass to avoid him in our lane and as he passed us, his truck was pouring smoke like a chimney.”
“He was almost hitting cars in the other lane of travel the whole time we advanced up to him. We both really thought if he didn’t stop, he was going to hit another person head-on,” Pearl added.
Pearl said once he and Landaverde caught up to him, the vehicle continued to swerve all over the road – prompting both bikers to hold down their horns in an attempt to get Campos to stop.
“When he pulled over we got behind him and I immediately called the police,” Pearl said. “He jumped out of his vehicle and started sprinting towards me yelling someone stole his car. He was so out of it that he was trying to convince us that someone stole his car, caused the accident, and he wrestled them out of his car.”
“‘It was a lot of bad guys and I had to get away’ was his reasoning for almost seriously hurting or killing more people with his driving,” Pearl added. “He became visibly scared when he saw me on the phone with police and begged me not to tell them where we were or what had happened.”
Pearl said Campos attempted to get back into his vehicle when he saw him calling the police.
“I yelled at him ‘you can try to leave but you won’t get away from us. We are on motorcycles and there’s nowhere you can go that we can’t follow or get to faster,’” Pearl said. “He got back out of the driver's seat and continued to beg me to let him leave.”
Pearl said due to the adrenaline rush of what had just happened and the fear that Campos may drive off again, he opted not to take his helmet off in the event he would have to chase after him again. He spoke to police on speaker phone and when Campos first approached him while he was on the phone, he allegedly grabbed Pearl by both of his shoulders and tried to yell into his phone that his car was stolen.
“I had to scream at him to get off of me and absolutely do not speak while I’m talking to dispatch because nobody can tell what’s being said,” Pearl said. “Fortunately, the state cop was on scene in less than three minutes and the guy didn’t touch me again afterward.”
Pearl said he was appreciative of the swift response by the state trooper.
“The state cop we spoke to was incredibly appreciative of us pursuing him, getting him stopped, and getting police to his location,” Pearl said. “When the guy tried to lie to the officer and say his car was stolen the state cop snapped at him ‘oh really you think we don’t have witnesses at the scene of the crash? Stop lying or you can go into cuffs right now and argue in court.’ That statement was prior to Angel or I knowing what (Campos) had done. We didn’t know if he hit a tree, a rock, a house, or another person – we just knew for sure he was running from an accident and finally hearing the officer confirm our suspicion was honestly a shock despite having a good idea of what happened just based off the visible facts.”
Campos is scheduled to return to court August 21 for a pretrial hearing. He was released on his personal recognizance.