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Who was the man who led county law enforcement on a high-speed chase last night that endangered both law enforcement and members of the public? The answer is — we don’t know yet.

A late-night chase that began on U.S. 50 looped east and up onto the country roads on Methodist Mountain, and crash into a ravine, where the suspect fled on foot. The chase involved both the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Salida Police Department and ended with the arrest this morning of an as yet, unidentified suspect, charged with four counts, including Second Degree Assault, Criminal Attempt, a Class 5 Felony.

In a press release its morning Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze confirmed that at approximately 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, May 27, Chaffee County Deputies stopped a suspicious vehicle on U.S. 50 in the Poncha Springs area. Deputies contacted the man, who provided identification to them that he was from the Denver Metro area.

But during the stop, deputies were unable to confirm ownership of the vehicle and the driver was unable to provide any answers to deputies. Asked to exit the truck, the driver attempted to drive away, nearly dragging deputies in the suspect vehicle. A pursuit ensued and headed eastbound into Salida where Salida Police Officers became involved in the pursuit. At the intersection of CR 107 and East U.S. 50 the suspect rammed a Salida Police car several times before continuing southbound on CR 107.

“Deputies and Salida Police Officers continued to pursue the suspect into the Methodist Mountain subdivision where law enforcement once again attempted to contact the suspect,” continued the sheriff’s statement. “The suspect once again attempted to flee as the officers approached the vehicle. Fearing for the safety of the numerous homeowners in the area, law enforcement personnel fired shots at the vehicle’s tires disabling the vehicle.”

The suspect’s truck continued down an embankment and wrecked among multiple trees. When law enforcement approached the vehicle, they found that the suspect had fled on foot A large-scale search for the suspect ensued, using heat-seeking drones and multiple law enforcement officers. An Everbridge emergency notification was sent to nearby residents initially and later to the entire town of Salida notifying the public of the situation and of the suspect who had fled.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. this morning, May 28 the Chaffee County Communications Center received a 911 call of a suspicious male who ran up on a passing motorist in the Paradise Acres area. Fearing for their safety the motorist fled and law enforcement was notified. Members of the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Salida Police Department responded and took the suspect into custody without incident. He was transported to the Chaffee County Detention Facility.

The suspect was fingerprinted at the county detention facility, and it was discovered that the identification the suspect gave deputies initially was, in fact, not him. At this time no positive identification is available due to the multiple aliases the suspect has used and his unwillingness to provide further information.

The unidentified suspect faces the following charges:

  1. Second Degree Assault, Criminal Attempt, Class 5 Felony
  2. Eluding, Class 5 Felony
  3. Driving After Restraint, Class 1 Misdemeanor
  4. Resisting Arrest, Class 2 Misdemeanor

Featured image: The high-speed chase that ended with a truck crashing into a ravine off Divide Drive, CR 106B late Thursday evening (Divide Drive is off CR 108). Photo by resident Mike Rosso, Publisher of Colorado Central Magazine.