Garfield County crime briefs: Carbondale car chase leads to felony arrest
The best song for a car chase is...
February 1, 2019
A 29-year-old Carbondale man led police on a 17-mile car chase that looped through Missouri Heights and El Jebel and ended on Catherine Store Road around 2 a.m. last Sunday morning.
According to an arrest affidavit, a Carbondale Police officer noticed a motorist later identified as Preston King turning onto Main Street in Carbondale heading east, and pulled a U-turn to pursue. The officer said he noticed King had a "1,000 yard stare" and could hear loud music from the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
As soon as the officer began following the black Honda Prelude, it sped up to 50 miles per hour going through town, according to the officer's speed radar. As the suspect allegedly sped through every stop sign, it reached around 80-90 mph, the officer said.
The Honda then ran the red light at the County Road 100/Highway 82 intersection and "almost struck a passing vehicle" as it proceeded north into Missouri Heights. At one point coming back down toward El Jebel, the car made "a hard swerve from left to right before slamming into a guard rail," according to the affidavit. The vehicle continued on, but the officer said the front end began smoking.
At El Jebel, King allegedly ran another red light and headed west on 82, traveling more than 120 mph, according to the officer's estimation.
Back at the intersection with Catherine Store Road (100 Road), the Honda started to travel the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes, then turned to head back toward Carbondale.
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The vehicle parked on the roadside with the lights turned off just after the Catherine Bridge. When the officer stopped, the suspect got out of his vehicle and fled on foot.
The officer checked the car for other passengers, and noticed that the car stereo "was still blaring and the song, 'F— the Police' was playing," presumably referring to NWA's infamous track.
As the officer approached the suspect, he noticed King put his face in the snow and apparently eat it. Assisted by an Eagle County Sheriff’s deputy who had just arrived, the officer handcuffed the man and noticed a strong smell of alcohol.
The officer asked the man to stick out his tongue, and "could see what looked like little bits of cannabis on [the] side of his mouth," according to the affidavit. King allegedly swallowed the substance by the time the officer was able to force his mouth open.
King refused chemical tests for drugs and alcohol, and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and vehicular eluding, both felonies. He also faces a host of reckless driving infractions, including driving with a revoked license from three prior alcohol convictions.
King was released on $8,000 bond on Monday.
DROPPED CELL PHONE LEADS TO CAR THEFT ARREST
A man confessed to stealing a Jeep after he dropped his cell phone at the place of the alleged crime in Parachute, according to Garfield District Court documents.
According to an arrest affidavit, a man left his Jeep running while he went inside the trucking company where he worked around 4 a.m. Thursday. Two suspects had been following him from a gas station, according to a Parachute Police Department investigation.
One suspect, William Tommer, 40, allegedly stole the Jeep and almost hit another employee of the trucking company as he was driving away, according to the affidavit.
The other suspect, Trent Barrientos, 25, left in a truck, which also turned out to be a vehicle stolen from Montrose, according to the affidavit.
Around 9 a.m. the same morning, the owner of the stolen Jeep called police to say his vehicle was back, and that Tommer had returned because "he had dropped his cell phone while stealing the Jeep."
Tommer was charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft and impersonation, because he gave a false name to the officer. He also gave three different stories about the other suspect in the case.
Using surveillance camera footage from the trucking business, officers identified the truck Tommer's alleged accomplice had driven. Garfield County Sheriff's deputies spotted the truck at the same gas station where the two had been earlier in the day.
Sheriff's deputies reached the truck in Rifle, and found that it had been stolen from Montrose on Monday.
Barrientos was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicle theft. Each suspect is being held on $2,500 bond.