RICHMOND -- A suspect wanted in a hit-and-run crash last year that killed a 52-year-old man in a wheelchair was arrested after confessing to undercover federal agents, police said.
Daniel Barnett, 25, of El Sobrante, was caught by Richmond police and federal agents after a brief pursuit Tuesday and charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit-and-run, according to Richmond police Detective Nicole Abetkov.
Barnett struck and killed David Cox, 52, of Richmond on Sept. 23 near the intersection of 34th Street and Esmond Avenue, police said.
Cox, an avid Oakland Raiders fan, was a lifelong Richmond resident who used a wheelchair because he had spina bifida. Police said that Barnett's car simply rolled up from behind and struck Cox.
The crash took place around 6 p.m., which initially led police to believe that poor visibility in the waning sunlight may have been a factor. With Barnett being "a little less than cooperative" while in custody, that question may never be answered, according to Sgt. Joey Schlemmer of the traffic division.
"The neighborhood residents and members of the community ... were as shocked and horrified as we were (by this death)," Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus said. "We really owe this (arrest) to the family."
Cox's family appeared at a news conference at Richmond police headquarters Thursday, but did not speak to reporters.
Anonymous tips from neighborhood residents
Barnett was ensnared in the ATF's Operation Gideon III, which targets criminals involved in violent crimes and illegal trade in guns and drugs.
At one point in the investigation, Barnett unknowingly confessed his role in the collision to an undercover special agent, Abetkov said.
A federal grand jury has also indicted Barnett on one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. He appeared in U.S. District Court in Oakland on Wednesday.
The Contra Costa District Attorney's office has not yet scheduled his case.