13 years on the run, Orem fugitive caught in Las Vegas

Published: Friday, Aug. 31 2012 9:00 p.m. MDT

OREM — A fugitive who jumped bail after being arrested nearly 13 years ago in the attempted murder of two police officers was apprehended Thursday night in Las Vegas.

In November 1999, two officers found Reinhold Neumann passed out at the wheel of a stolen SUV. Officer John McCombs, the first to respond to the call, was assaulted by Neumann and left bloodied on the pavement, police said.

When officer Garrett Smit arrived, Neumann sped toward him with the SUV. Smit fired his weapon in an attempt to stop Neumann, but was hit by the SUV and dragged several feet, police said. Smit suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a shattered leg and many bumps and bruises.

Neumann got away and had been able to avoid police detection for nearly 13 years.

On Aug. 11, Neumann was arrested for investigation of driving while intoxicated in Las Vegas. He was using the name Joaquin Lopez-Caraballo, which actually belonged to a deceased woman.

Detectives had been in close contact with the FBI and the violent crimes task force in Las Vegas. The task force had been monitoring Neumann and was able to arrest him Thursday night.

"He put up a fight, but the good news is that he is in custody again," Orem Police Sgt. Craig Martinez said. "He will be extradited to Utah in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully he won't be getting out anytime soon."

The only lead police had prior to the Las Vegas arrest was on a DNA bite mark that McCombs suffered in the fight.

In 2003, Neumann was arrested in Pasadena, Calif., after a pursuit with police. When questioned by police about why he ran, he said, "I'm wanted in Utah for trying to kill a cop," according to Orem police.

Police also found out that Neumann had some minor plastic surgery and dental work done in an effort to change his appearance. After being extradited to Utah, he posted bail and fled.

Julian Reyes

Twitter: @_JulianReyes_

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