Armed man closes access to Frisco west ramp on Interstate 70
After nearly four hours of negotiation an armed man who barricaded himself in a car on the Interstate 70 off-ramp at the west end of Frisco’s Main Street agreed to surrender peacefully.
At 11:48 a.m. on Saturday, the Summit County Communications Center received a call for assistance from the Lake County Communications Center. Personnel with the Colorado State Patrol, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Leadville Police Department had been following the unidentified male as he drove eastbound on I-70 from Lake County. While on the interstate, the subject did not display any suspicious or aggressive behavior, according to a release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
CSP and Lake County law enforcement stopped the subject’s white sedan outside of Frisco shortly after the assistance call. Additional personnel with the Silverthorne and Frisco police departments and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene soon after. The majority of the officers stayed on the perimeter, closing access to the westbound and eastbound ramps with traffic cones and patrol vehicles.
The ramps remained closed for nearly four hours as negotiators tried to talk the man out of the car. By 4 p.m., the situation was resolved and law enforcement had left the scene. Traffic resumed on both ramps within minutes.
Officials believe the subject was potentially suicidal, according to the release. When he surrendered, officers confiscated a .45-caliber handgun. He will undergo a mental evaluation and will not be charged criminally. Officials have not released other details, including the man’s name, age and place of residence. They also have not stated the reason for the interstate pursuit.
State Patrol Sgt. Philip Gurley was stationed near Exit 201 with an AR-15 rifle, stopping traffic as it traveled west along Main Street Frisco toward the I-70 ramps. The incident was handled like a hostage situation, he said. Standard operating procedure is to isolate the scene and contain any threat.
“Our main goal is to get this guy out safely and make sure that if he does anything irresponsible, we have that situation contained,” Gurley said. “It’s just kind of a waiting game trying to talk the guy out, talk him down. We’re on his time frame now.”
Roughly eight law enforcement vehicles responded to the incident, with the white, four-door car wedged between two patrol cars. Gurley said 12 to 15 personnel were dispatched to the scene, including hostage negotiators with the Silverthorne Police Department.
Throughout the afternoon, neighbors and passersby gathered on the slushy shoulder of Main Street to catch a glimpse of the ramp. Kathy Biggs of Vail was driving to Lowe’s when she saw lights from a Leadville police vehicle in her rearview mirror. That vehicle was quickly joined by a CSP patrol car. Both were following the white sedan, she said.
The responding vehicles pursued the sedan halfway down the west Frisco exit ramp and stopped before reaching the intersection with Main Street. As Biggs watched, officers with drawn pistols exited both vehicles and took cover on the ramp shoulder. No shots were fired, she said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Former Aspen Skiing Co. executive and Aspen city councilman Derek Johnson has been released from state prison and is currently residing at a halfway house.