If the Santa Ana Police Department has it right, Tracy Clapp went all Mike Tyson on herself.
With a face tattoo Iron Mike would be envious of—as well as bright pink hair and blue contact lenses on her eyes—the 36-year-old Santa Ana resident is believed to have changed her appearance from what she looked like on April 20.
Around 2:15 that morning, Saddleback High School drum line instructor Christopher Chavez was walking through the Bristol Street and Central Avenue crosswalk, with the right-of-way as he headed to Denny’s, when he was struck by a black BMW sedan with paper license plates.
The woman behind the wheel stopped, walked up to Chavez, went back to the car and drove off, say police and a witness who snapped a photo of the raven-haired driver before she left.
Severely injured, Chavez was taken to Orange County Global Medical Center, where a week later the 26-year-old was declared brain dead.
With the help of police, the Chavez family offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the identity of the female Beemer driver.
Meanwhile, detectives kept working the case, aided by tips that poured in. The investigation led them Saturday night to southeast Santa Ana, where a woman with pink hair was seen getting into a stolen car, police Cpl. Matt Wharton reportedly told the Orange County Register.
Police followed the car and tried to pull it over, but the vehicle kept going before the lady fled, a short foot chase ensued, and the suspect tussled with cops, who included a canine that bit her in the arm, according to Wharton.
Clapp was hospitalized and expected to be booked Sunday night on suspicion of several crimes, including vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run and assault on a peace officer.
The Chavez family, who police informed of the arrest, told the Register that Christopher’s organs were donated to help others, as he would have wished.
No one staked a claim to the $20,000 reward.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.