The Bakersfield Police Department on Saturday night arrested the man they believe led Officer David Nelson on a fatal chase early Friday morning.
Police have been asking the public to keep an eye out for the silver Hyundai that Nelson reported he was chasing before his patrol car slammed into a block wall at the corner of Mt. Vernon Avenue and Panorama Drive at 3:40 a.m. Friday.
On Saturday the tip line paid off.
A phone tip, at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, led police to Julian Hernandez, 32, of Bakersfield, according to a press release from Sgt. Joe Grubbs.
The tipster had seen a person driving a silver Hyundai with paper license plates going back and forth from a home in the 2600 block of Sunny Lane.
Police responded to the home, found the car and contacted Hernandez. Their investigation, Grubbs reported, revealed that Hernandez had been driving the car Nelson had pursued, and that Hernandez was linked to a shotgun recovered from the scene of the crash.
They arrested him at 11:30 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of evading an officer resulting in injury or death, hit and run resulting in injury or death, obstructing arrest, felon in possession of a firearm and other charges.
The Kern County Sheriff's Office website lists Hernandez's bail as $610,000.
The tip line for this incident, 852-7800, has been closed. Anyone with more information should call Detective Jim Moore at 326-3540, the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111 or the Secret Witness line at 322-4040.
Those wishing to share their feelings can still call the condolence line at 852-7021.
Services for Nelson will be held out of town Tuesday and Wednesday. Grubbs said in a release Sunday that the viewing would take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.
The chapel and graveside services have changed location, he said, moving from Forest Lawn's Glendale location to its Hollywood Hills location at 6300 Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles. Those will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
There will be a memorial service in Bakersfield during the week of July 6, Grubbs said. Details of that service will be released at a later time.