The Middletown Police Department announced an arrest Friday in the hit-and run-death of Elias “Joel” Velasquez Chavez.

Paul A. Gomes, 23, of Portsmouth was arrested Thursday after an anonymous tip led them to Gomes’ car which matched the description of the vehicle used in the hit-and-run.

On May 22, 2020 at approximately 2320 hours, the Middletown Police Department along with the Middletown Fire Department responded to the area of West Main Road at the entrance to Harbor Village for the report of a motor vehicle accident involving a bicycle.

Upon arrival, the bicyclist, identified as Elias “Joel” Velasquez Chavez a 40-year-old male from Newport had succumb to his injuries. The vehicle that was involved fled the scene.

Video showed a dark colored sedan travelling at a high rate of speed southbound on West Main Road at the time of the accident. The Middletown Police Department Detective Division continued to work on the case and received several tips from our community. One anonymous tip led them to a dark blue Honda accord registered to Paul A. Gomes, a 23 year old male from Cory’s Lane in Portsmouth. Evidence recovered at the scene of the crash matched the dark blue Honda registered to Mr. Gomes. The dark blue Honda was located in a salvage yard in East Providence and had damage consistent with the accident.

On Thursday, June 11, detectives secured a warrant for Mr. Gomes charging him with Duty to Stop in an Accident Resulting in Death. He was taken into custody, held overnight and transported to the Kent County Court this morning for arraignment.

The Middletown Police would like to thank everyone that called in a tip regarding the accident. The publics assistance was greatly appreciated as it led us to the vehicle and assisted us in making the arrest.