1 May, 2023 @ 15:45
1 min read

Man who killed two pedestrians during Madrid police chase was fleeing cops after stealing catalytic converters

Paseo Extremadura 88

A MAN who ran over and killed two people on Thursday in Madrid during a police chase has confessed that he was fleeing from the cops to avoid arrest after having stolen four catalytic converters that morning. 

Pedro Villanueva, a known criminal with an extensive record, handed himself over to police after the dramatic persecution, from which he managed to escape on foot without being detained.

The chase began at around 1pm on Thursday, when the vehicle that Villanueva was driving was stopped by the Civil Guard. The reason, according to Spanish online daily El Español, was that his daughter was not in a child seat but rather was being held in the arms of Villanueva’s wife. 

Fearing that the authorities may discover the stolen converters in the boot of his Mercedes C 200, Villanueva fled the scene. 

The suspect drove the vehicle at more than 100km/h down the Paseo de Extremadura boulevard in the wrong direction. It was there that he hit and killed two men who were crossing the road at the time. 

According to the statements of police and witnesses, one of the passengers of the vehicle, the wife’s cousin, then hung out of the window to guide Villanueva given that the windscreen was smashed and opaque due to the impact of the pedestrians. 

The vehicle came to a halt when it smashed into another car, which is when Villanueva managed to flee the scene on foot. His wife and her cousin were both arrested, although they put up resistance according to statements. 

Villanueva did not have a valid driving licence, having lost all of his points in November 2021. 

He is now facing charges of homicide as well as belonging to a criminal gang, among other offences.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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