Garfield County Crime Briefs: reckless driver sends police on wild chase
Just after 4 p.m. April, 22, police responded to a call in the area of East 18th Street and Railroad Ave. in Rifle for reports of a reckless driver. The incident resulted in a warrant, but no arrest as yet.
The driver had reportedly passed vehicles on the shoulder and was photographed passing a stopped school bus in Rifle. An officer spotted the vehicle near Deerfield Avenue traveling southbound on Colorado 13 near the intersection with East 26th Street, according to the arrest affidavit.
The officer got behind the vehicle and turned on the vehicle’s emergency overhead lights.
The vehicle continued southbound and reportedly got in the left turn lanes towards Whiteriver Avenue without using a turn signal.
In the turn lane, the vehicle came to a brief stop at the 13 and Whiteriver intersection while the stop light was red, but continued through the red light and got back onto the southbound lane of Highway 13, the affidavit states.
The vehicle speed reportedly increased to approximately 40 mph in a 30 mph zone.
The southbound vehicle turned onto Railroad Avenue from 13, at which point the officer initiated the audible siren along with the emergency lights.
But, the driver continued going at approximately 40 mph, running a red light at the intersection of 16th Street and Railroad without slowing down, the affidavit states.
At around Ninth Street and Railroad, the vehicle’s speed reportedly increased to 80 mph in a 20 mph school zone. The officer was reportedly following behind at around 60 mph.
With the vehicle’s speed concerning pursuing officers and Rifle Middle School students reportedly in the area as school was letting out at around that time, the officer was told to end the pursuit.
The driver then turned into the Gateway Inn parking lot and came to a complete stop.
The officer pulled behind him, got out with his firearm and began yelling commands at the driver, the affidavit states. He drove off onto the 400 block of East Avenue, and the officer’s pursuit ended.
A short time later, the vehicle was seen southbound at Whiteriver and the intersection of Highway 6 with an officer trailing.
The vehicle then reportedly turned into oncoming traffic toward Interstate 70, traveling southbound in the northbound lane, the affidavit states.
The pursuit continued for some time before the vehicle turned into the La Quinta parking lot in the Rifle South area. It reportedly drove onto the curb and across the sidewalk from La Quinta and back onto Wapiti Court.
The vehicle then went into the Sonic Drive-In parking lot and from there back over the curb and across a small grass area onto the Alpine Bank parking lot. After reportedly driving onto curbs and sidewalks, the vehicle got back onto Airport Road and headed back into the main part of Rifle.
The pursuit was terminated again.
Officers later located the suspect exiting the Gateway Lodge parking lot.
The driver reportedly mouthed to one of the officers that he was sorry, before driving north onto East Avenue, again at a high rate of speed, causing concern for another attempted pursuit.
The suspect was found to have his driving status suspended with seven additional active warrants.
Later that day, a witness said he was driving in front of the suspect and saw him nearly hit a young girl on the sidewalk, the affidavit also states. The witness also took a photo of the driver passing the school bus.
A warrant was issued for the man’s arrest.
Hotel Colorado trespass
Around noon April 21, officers were called for a trespass in progress at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.
Two males were sitting by the fire in the lobby of the hotel and had been previously removed for trespassing earlier that morning at around 6 a.m., according to an arrest affidavit.
The officer recognized one of the trespassers, 26, from previous encounters.
During a pat down search of the suspect, the officer found two needles in his jacket pockets and placed him in custody for trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia, states the affidavit.
He also found another needle, 2.9 grams of methamphetamine and a digital scale.
The suspect was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, among other charges.
Around 8 a.m. on April 23, officers wee called to the Silver Spruce Motel in Glenwood Springs for a motor vehicle theft.
The alleged victim reported that her Chevy Malibu was missing. She also said it had mechanical issues and the headlights didn’t work, and that she didn’t drive it because of that, states the arrest affidavit.
Her keys and debit card were also in the vehicle.
She said when she went to work that morning she noticed the car was gone and a woman sitting outside another room said another man took it.
A call came over the radio while the officer was speaking with the victim that, at around 3 a.m. the night of the alleged car theft, an officer with the Glenwood Springs Police Department stopped the vehicle in question. The driver, 28, had given a false name but was later identified and had an active warrant out for his arrest and was logged at the Garfield County Jail.
The vehicle was later returned to its owner.
The value for the stolen and recovered vehicle was between approximately $1,300 and $2,300, police estimated.
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According to the New Castle Police Department’s official Facebook page, a “string of arson-related fires” have occurred in the town recently. Law enforcement believes “the fires to all be related.”