Cabbie helps end Amber Alert

From Staff Reports – East Valley Tribune
June 27, 2005

Either the van cut him off or suddenly switched lanes. Earl Vanover can’t
remember what caught his attention.

All he knows is the driver did something “silly” Saturday night off Mill
Avenue in Tempe, and that’s when he noticed the green and white van.

And the license plate sounded familiar.

The Yellow Cab driver called police and asked if they could refresh his
memory about the Amber Alert he saw earlier on the freeway.

“Well, I¹m right behind him,” Vanover told the dispatcher.

Minutes later, Raphael Arredondo, 35, was on the ground in handcuffs near
Broadway Road and Interstate 10. His two children, Jesus, 3, and Melina,
8, were unharmed.

Police said Arredondo stabbed his wife, Angelica Silva, multiple times in
chest during a fight over money at 9 p.m. at the Greenway Apartments,
1330 W. Broadway Road.

He then took off with the children, triggering the Amber Alert. Silva is
recovering at a Valley hospital. Arredondo is at Maricopa County’s First
Avenue Jail in Phoenix on suicide watch.

Vanover followed the zigzagging van while on the phone with police. He
lost it when the van zipped through a caution light.

“He realized I was following him,” Vanover said. “A Yellow Cab is kind of
hard to hide.”

But all was not lost. Tempe police caught up with the van down the road
just after midnight Sunday. Vanover said he drove by and saw a man in
handcuffs and the children being led away.

“I felt real good about getting the kids out of that situation, or having
a hand in it,” the 43-year-old Phoenix man said.

When it was over, Vanover and the Tempe policeman said their goodbyes.

“He said ‘Thank you,’ and I said ‘Thank you.’ Have a nice evening. I’m
going back to work.”

Copyright East Valley Tribune – ABC15 News contributed to this report

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