Victims outraged after alleged abuser is accused of killing man in a car crash while on the run

Victims say it could have been prevented
Posted at 9:21 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 13:04:38-04

DENVER -- A wanted man with a long history of alleged domestic violence had been on the run for weeks, but that all changed after a car crash killed one man in Grand County.

His alleged victims had been living in fear and reached out to Denver7 before the crash, concerned Felix Cervantes, 35, would hurt someone else -- their fears were realized not too long after.

"It's mind boggling to me, and nobody cares until somebody's dead -- then everyone cares, then people want to do their job," said Niki Montez, who said she was abused by Cervantes.  

Montez spoke to Denver7 on Wednesday. Hours later, law enforcement confirmed the tragic twist in the case.

"He's dangerous and it's progressing," she warned before the fatal crash came to light. "I believe that he definitely has the potential of fatally hurting somebody."

Seventeen days after Cervantes allegedly cut his GPS ankle monitor is when the deadly crash occurred in Grand County.

"What's the point of a GPS tracking monitor if they can just easily cut it off and go on the run?" said Montez.

Montez added she believes the system failed, and the man's death could have been prevented had officers tracked him down as soon as he cut his GPS monitor.

Timeline of Events

Court records show Cervantes has a long history of domestic abuse allegations going back to 2001.

Montez said he first hit her back in 2009.

"He beat me pretty bad, to the point where I was huddled on the floor in a ball and he was punching and kicking me in every part of my body," she explained.

Montez said the abuse first happened a day before she found out she was pregnant with Cervantes' son.

"Who really wants to be in that kind of predicament, you know, to be forced to decide: do you really want to go through with the pregnancy with the type of person that you just found out this person is?" she said.

And Montez said it didn't stop there.

"Being pregnant by him and his child, it didn't matter. He hit me all the way until I was five months pregnant with his son," she explained.

When she was five months pregnant, Montez said she decided to leave Cervantes and made the decision not to file charges.

"That's the one mistake that I did make. I didn't press charges, I didn't call the police on him," she said.

Then in April 2016, Montez said it happened again with another woman who asked Denver7 not to use her name. She shared photos of her injuries and did file charges against Cervantes.

The arrest affidavit in the case also details the disturbing allegations of abuse. It states, "Felix threw her on the ground and began choking her with both hands."

Court documents show it all happened in front of one of their children, who it states yelled multiple times, "Daddy, stop daddy."

Cervantes was out on bond awaiting trial in this case when he reportedly cut his ankle monitor and went on the run-on May 12, according to court records.

Investigators filed a warrant for his arrest a day later.

"They put a warrant out for him, that's a piece of paper -- what is that going to do?" said Montez.

Then, on Memorial Day, Colorado State Patrol said he was involved in a fatal crash on U.S. 40 in Grand County.

According to the release, CSP said Cervantes was "passing other eastbound traffic in a no passing zone" when he hit another car head-on. The crash killed James Fagan, 24, of Breckenridge.

Montez believes all of it could have been prevented had someone listened.

"I don't know why they don't take it seriously," she said.

Law Enforcement Response

CSP said it is still investigating the fatal crash. No charges have been filed yet, but will be considered once the investigation is completed.

Cervantes is back in custody, according to the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office. 

As for why police were unable to track Cervantes down before the accident happened, Arapahoe County said law enforcement was notified as soon as Cervantes' ankle monitor was cut on May 12, but when officers arrived at the last location the GPS pinged, he was already gone.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Unit said they were not notified to be actively looking for Cervantes, but their warrant office puts in more than 7,000 warrants a year and often investigators are forced to prioritize.