A 25-year-old man wanted in a fatal crash in the District on Christmas Eve has been arrested in Vermont.
The suspect, Joseph Babila Tata, was arrested while walking alone down a rural road Sunday evening in Coventry, Vt., according to the Orleans County Sheriff's Department. Tata was wanted on a charge of negligent homicide in the death of Joan Bauer, 58, of Gaithersburg.
The collision occurred as Bauer, several family members and a friend were riding to a Christmas Eve program at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Their car was struck from behind on 16th Street NW near Alaska Avenue by a car that Tata was driving, D.C. police said.
Bauer, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered internal injuries and died at Washington Hospital Center. Tata ran from the scene.
Members of Brauer's family have criticized D.C. police for not quickly issuing a warrant for Tata, even though his driver's license was found in the car.
Janette Hoston Harris, executive assistant to Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon, said Dixon read a story about the case in the Washington Times Jan. 7 and had her contact the Brauer family. Harris later called Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr., who told her the investigation was continuing. A warrant was issued for Tata's arrest Jan. 9.
Roger Strobridge, an Orleans County deputy, said Tata was seen about 8:30 p.m. Sunday walking along a road.
Tata told police he had come to nearby Newport, Vt., by bus from Boston and had asked directions to a motel, but had taken a wrong turn, Strobridge said. Police held Tata for D.C. authorities after turning up the outstanding warrant.