Woman arrested on suspicion of killing Santa Ana drumline teacher in hit-run crash

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police arrested a woman Saturday night who is suspected of killing a Saddleback High School drumline instructor in a hit-and-run crash.

Police received tips about the whereabouts of the suspect, identified as Tracy Clapp. One of the tips led authorities to a home in the southeast part of Santa Ana.

When police arrived, Clapp is said to have left a residence and entered a stolen car. During an attempted stop, a short chase ensued. Clapp eventually fled on foot, authorities said, and was then confronted by officers and assaulted them.

Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said a K-9 officer subdued Clapp and she was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment to her left arm.

Upon release, Clapp will be booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter, felony evasion with a wanton disregard for public safety and battery of an officer, according to Cpl. Matt Wharton.

On April 20, authorities said Chris Chavez, 26, had a green light at the intersection of Bristol Street and Central Avenue when a 5-series BMW ran a red light and hit him. Witnesses said a woman stepped out of the car, but eventually got back in and drove off.

Chavez was declared brain dead on April 29, but was kept alive until May 1 to have his organs harvested for donation.

According to authorities, Clapp dyed her hair bright pink, had a tattoo on the left side of her face and was wearing colored contact lenses when she was apprehended.

"It is our belief that she did all of that to elude capture," Wharton said.

Authorities said the car Clapp got into was reported stolen two months ago, but did not elaborate further. It was unclear if the BMW that struck Chavez was also stolen.

Ralph Chavez, Chris's father, thanked citizens who called in tips and Santa Ana officers for finding the suspected driver.

"The tip that came in put this lady away - thank you guys very much. I hope that she can never be on the streets again to do this to anybody else," he said. "I feel nothing for this lady right now...I've got a big battle. We're a broken family right now."

Ralph added that his son will live on in other people now that his organs have been donated and that his son was a giving person.

Sister Rachel Chavez said her brother was a "kind-hearted soul" who would "give the shirt off his back."

"He was an amazing, honest, loving, caring, genuine person - people like that don't come often," she said. "So to lose someone like that is hard. We're blessed to have had him for the time we did."
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