Ex-UA golfer a fugitive

2011-07-19T07:00:00Z 2011-11-15T10:07:34Z Ex-UA golfer a fugitiveKellie Mejdrich Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 19, 2011 7:00 am  • 

Editor's note: This is a corrected version of the original July 19 article, which misstated the grounds for Popelka's initial arrest.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a former member of the University of Arizona women's golf team who failed to appear in court following her arrest in early May.

Sherlyn Popelka was driving on a suspended license on May 8 when she collided with a motorcyclist at North Campbell Avenue and East Speedway, records show. After spending the night in jail, Popelka was released May 9.

The case was initially reported as a hit-and-run because Popelka, 19, continued driving after hitting the motorcyclist, who was injured. But it was later determined that she stopped about a block away.

Popelka, who would have been a junior in the fall, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with serious injuries and criminal damage, said Sgt. Matt Ronstadt, a Tucson police spokesman.

The UA athletic department and the Dean of Students Office "are aware of the situation," the athletic department said Monday in a statement. Popelka "is no longer a member of the Arizona women's golf team."

The arrest came after a recent string of traffic violations. Her license had been suspended because she failed to pay for a November 2010 speeding citation, records show.

On April 28, she was cited for driving on a suspended license. She failed to appear for a court date on May 19, and on May 25, a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Popelka was a star player her freshman year, leading the UA golf team to a 2009 victory at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, the first victory for the Wildcats since 2003. Before arriving in Tucson, Popelka had won several matches in the U.S. and in Europe.

The last time she competed for the UA was at a Tempe tournament in early April.

Popelka's whereabouts are unknown. The native of Zurich, Switzerland, did not respond to an email request for an interview on Monday.

Her photo and bio on the athletic department website were removed Monday after the Star started asking questions about the DUI arrest.

Efforts to reach the injured motorcyclist were not successful.

Contact reporter Kellie Mejdrich at mejdrich@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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