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Driver of SUV seen near deadly hit-and-run crash arrested on motor vehicle theft charge

Denver Police said they have not yet connected the man to the fatal crash that happened on South Eliot Street.

DENVER — The driver of an SUV seen leaving the area after a deadly hit-and-run Sunday morning has been arrested after a police chase and is facing charges of motor vehicle theft and vehicular eluding, 9Wants to Know has learned.

According to the Denver Police Department (DPD), the man, identified as 23-year-old Omar Delgado, has not yet been connected to the hit-and-run. 

According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records, Delgado was arrested in 2015 for DUI and careless driving.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, DPD said a driver in an SUV hit a man in the 600 block of South Eliot Street.

The man, identified as Joaquin Romero, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police released a photo of an SUV seen leaving the area after the incident.

Credit: Denver Police Department

Romero was the beloved owner of the Topeira Boxing Club, a popular gym in west Denver.  

"He'd give you the shirt off his back," said Oscar Romero, Joaquin's father. "He was always there for you.  It's kind of surreal. I just can't believe he's gone yet. It's been tough. All I can say is, he'll be missed."

Anyone with information about the hit and run is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers is notified at the conclusion of the investigation. 

From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted. 

> More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here. 

> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here. 

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