High-speed chase ends with arrest | CraigDailyPress.com

High-speed chase ends with arrest

BAGGS, Wyo. — Residents poured out of houses and businesses Friday morning to watch as an entourage of police vehicles screamed down the town’s main street, and law enforcement officers ordered a driver out of a vehicle at gunpoint.

The driver led police on a 40-mile chase that began in Craig.

Police got the call at about 9:30 a.m. that a vehicle that had been left running from in front of Craig’s Pizza Hut had been stolen. Minutes later, Craig Police Officer Dale Secules spotted the car heading north on Yampa Avenue, and law enforcement pursued — at times, surrounding the 2003 Chevy Cavalier and reaching speeds of 80 mph on Colorado Highway 13.

About a half mile down Baggs’ main street, Trooper Marty Smith of the Colorado State Patrol tapped the vehicle with his car, causing the Cavalier to spin in a three-quarter rotation and becoming lodged into a snowbank on the right side of the road. Luis Colon, 28, of Wyoming was arrested after he exited the vehicle while police pointed guns and a Taser stun gun at him, said Sgt. Bill Leonard of the Craig Police Department.

“We were just sitting over there eating breakfast, and we saw all the sirens,” said Baggs resident Gwenda Herold, who exited the Wagon Wheel Cafe with a friend soon after police stopped the vehicle. “It’s a lot of excitement for Baggs.”

Law enforcement from Craig, Baggs, the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and state troopers from Colorado and Wyoming assisted in the pursuit and capture.

Law enforcement twice tried to stop the vehicle during the chase laying out “stop spikes,” or strips of hollow spikes intended to puncture a vehicle’s tires. The driver successfully swerved around the strips, Leonard said.

Colon was released from the Moffat County Jail on Oct. 27 and may have been looking to get out of town, Leonard said. He is being held in the Moffat County Jail on felony charges of eluding and motor vehicle theft. The District Attorney’s Office may press additional charges.

No one was injured in the incident. Speeds in the chase didn’t reach as high as they could have, Leonard said, but the danger of the pursuit was intensified because the highway was dotted with long stretches of ice.

Leonard said law enforcement from Craig decided to keep in pursuit because officers located the vehicle while it was in town. Baggs police officers were asked to travel south on Colo. 13 to try to stop off the chase.

Michael Cramer of Craig reported the stolen vehicle, Leonard said. The vehicle suffered minor damage from the impact of Smith hitting the car’s rear left quarter panel with his vehicle.

“That was wild,” Herold said, looking at the more than 10 law enforcement vehicles surrounding the stolen car in Baggs. “That was one that didn’t get away, that’s for sure.”

Residents are urged to lock their cars and not to keep their engines running upon leaving, in accordance with city ordinance and state statute, Leonard said.

“The point is, do you really want your car to take off without you to Mexico or Nebraska and then you have to go pick it up?”

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