Police make arrest in Colo. Blvd. fatal hit-and-run

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DENVER -- Denver Police cracked a fatal hit and run case in less than 12 hours and they say it wouldn’t have been possible without crucial help from the public.

They say 35-year-old Jonathan Lewis was walking home from a nearby bar near 9th and Colorado Blvd. about 2:00 Tuesday morning.  Police say it appears he was in or very near the crosswalk, but they don’t know whether he was crossing with or against the light.

The suspect hit him, killed him and fled the scene.

Police recovered pieces of the suspect vehicle that were left at the scene of the crash and some paint chips but did not have much else to go on.

They say they received tips from the public that led them to an Aurora apartment complex.

That’s where they found the suspect vehicle and arrested 30-year-old Nathan Beechley for investigation of leaving the scene of a fatal injury accident.

Police say Lewis is the fourth person to be killed in Denver this year in a hit-and-run, and they fear it is a growing trend. They say frequently the suspect has been drinking, but are not saying whether alcohol was a factor in this case.

Beechley, who worked as a campus security guard with Denver Public Schools until May of last year, has prior arrests for DUI and traffic offenses.

Denver police say this bar broke off from the vehicle that hit the pedestrian.

Denver police say this bar broke off from the vehicle that hit the pedestrian.

Police recovered the suspect vehicle, a dark blue vehicle with front-end damage.

Investigators say paint chips and pieces of a bumper from the vehicle were left at the scene.