Boca Raton, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — A Florida man on the run from police entered a woman’s Boca Raton home and began playing with her cats on the living room floor before being tipped off and captured by authorities, according to Delray Beach authorities.

Daniel Pinedo Velapatino, 21, entered Candace Noonan’s Boca home through the backdoor as she was getting her son ready for school, WPBF-TV reports. He then asked for a glass of water and she obliged thinking he was a landscaper.

“I said, ’Excuse me, can I help you?’” Noonan told WPBF. “He said, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. Next door, I’m mowing the lawn. Do you mind if I have a glass of water?'”

Noonan returned with the bottle of water and says Velapatino was lying on her living room floor playing with her cats.

“It was odd, very odd,” Noonan said. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.”

But what she didn’t know is that Velapatino was accused by Delray Beach and Boca Raton authorities of leading them on a wild chase – smashing into cars and the back of a police cruiser. Noonan’s husband began questioning the 21-year-old and he fled out the backdoor and jumped into a canal, where a police boat later captured him.

“We saw cop cars driving around the front of our house, and that’s when we sort of put two and two together,” said Noonan.

Investigators allege that Velapatino had been up all night taking drugs before stealing thousands of dollars in cash from a friend’s wallet. He is then accused of crashing a Lexus into several other vehicles and a fire hydrant before taking off on foot.

Velapatino told police that he needed the money because he owes his mother $2,000.

Benjamin Fearnow


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