Oak Creek bottle bomb suspect was focus of Craig police investigation before Friday car chase

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Joshua Benjamin Flaharty

— An Oak Creek man is in custody at Moffat County Jail after leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a more than hourlong car chase Friday.

Joshua Benjamin Flaharty, 25, was the subject of a Craig Police Department investigation and was under surveillance by officers because of two failure to appear warrants issued in Routt County related to homemade bottle bomb incidents in Oak Creek in November.

At about 5:30 p.m. Friday officers positively identified Flaharty leaving one of several Craig residences under surveillance. After entering a silver Jeep, officers attempted to pull over Flaharty, but he refused to stop, according to a news release.

Officers pursued Flaharty until he exited Craig city limits, traveling east on U.S. Highway 40 toward Hayden. The chase was picked up by Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Colorado State Patrol troopers, according to the release.

Troopers deployed “stop sticks” west of Hayden that reportedly flattened the front and rear passenger side tires but failed to disable the vehicle. Officers then forced Flaharty’s Jeep off the highway after it had traveled through Hayden, and he had to be forcibly removed from the Jeep after the crash, according to the release.

After the pursuit, Flaharty was returned to Craig and booked into Moffat County Jail on the two Routt County warrants and numerous traffic violations, including vehicular eluding and reckless endangerment.

Flaharty is suspected of setting off homemade bottle bombs in Oak Creek in November. He was arrested in December in Routt County on suspicion of possession of an incendiary device, a Class 4 felony, and reckless endangerment, a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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