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Suspect in wild crime spree has long criminal record; Deputy shares story

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sullivanJEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The suspect in a crime spree and an extended chase with police was identified Thursday as a longtime criminal, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reported.

Christopher David Sullivan, 37, allegedly stole multiple vehicles, threatened people with firearms and fought with a police officer during a wild incident Wednesday afternoon.

Sullivan has a long criminal record, including identity theft and drug charges, according to state records. He was being held on $1 million bond.

A second suspect, a 17-year-old female, was with Sullivan, but she eventually surrendered to police.

The suspect was captured in dramatic fashion by a law enforcement officer in the middle of I-70 as traffic came to a halt. A civilian, John McLaughlin, got out of his car and helped the deputy hold the suspect down on the highway until more help arrived.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says motorcycle deputy Fred Haggett was the lone officer who tackled the armed suspect on the freeway.

"I make the analogy with sports: Once it's 'game on,' you become very focused," Haggett says of his actions. "I was just reacting to the moment. If he had done anything other than what he did, it would have been shots fired."

The 22-year-veteran says experience paid off as he stared down the armed man accused of stealing three cars, threatening 12 drivers and residents and creating six different crime scenes.

As for the label of "hero," Haggett says there are plenty of "high-fives" to go around. "Having seen it, I have no second thoughts on how it came down."

Scroll down to the bottom of this post to watch the raw video from SkyFOX of the wild crime spree.

Here's how it the events unfolded:

  • It began at 2:40 p.m. when the man fled from a traffic stop on Cabrini Road
  • At 3:15, he and his passenger are accused of carjacking two victims from a Subaru at gunpoint near Lookout Mountain Park
  • Next, he's accused of breaking into a home near Centennial Trail and stealing a truck while the homeowner hid
  • He crashed it a short time later at Cherry Creek
  • Witnesses say they heard gunfire after the crash

But it wasn't over.

SkyFOX was flying and first spotted a man and woman who looked like they were hiking on Lookout Mountain just after 4 p.m. It turns out both were desperately trying to avoid police. They were carjacking suspects, armed, dangerous and on the run.

They allegedly targeted tourists on Lookout Mountain.

The man eventually left his friend behind. He was clearly armed with a handgun and an assault rifle. He hoped to escape when he came across some parked snowplows. He opened the driver's side door and climbed into two of them, but he gave up on that idea.

It was about that time that the female suspect realized she didn't have a chance. She slid down a hill and surrendered peacefully to an officer.

Not too far away, the male suspect is still searching for a way to get away. He tries to steal a truck from outside a home. The door was unlocked but the keys weren't there. He then breaks into the house.

Remember ... all of this is on the video from SkyFOX posted with this story.

Then things really get crazy. Moments after entering the house, the suspect blasts through the closed garage door in an SUV he had stolen. He took off and ended up on some dirt mountain roads near I-70 where the SUV appears to get stuck. He ditched the vehicle and went looking for his next escape route.

His hope was to steal a car from someone on the interstate. He started pointing his gun and one driver almost stopped. But fortunately that driver realized the danger and sped away.

It looked like the suspect would have another chance, but that's when deputy Haggett arrived. The deputy chased him around a stopped vehicle in the middle of the westbound lanes, grabbed him by the shirt, pulled him in and slammed him down on the pavement. A motorist got out of his car and helped Haggett pin the suspect to the ground until more deputies arrived.



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