EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Police pursued a carjacking suspect for nearly four hours before a high-speed chase ended on Interstate 25 with an officer falling 40 feet from a bridge, according to a police account of the incident.
FOX31 has obtained a new video that shows the end of the chase. You can see that video farther down in this story.
The Fountain Police Department released a lengthy narrative Friday afternoon, identifying Officer Julian Becerra as the officer who was hurt. Becerra has been with the department for 4 and a half years and is a K-9 officer on patrol.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Julian and his family during this difficult time and we pray for a speedy recovery,” the department stated in a release. Donations to his family can be made through the Southern Colorado Law Enforcement Foundation, with donations designated in Becerra’s name.
Three people in a stolen vehicle were arrested, according to police.
Devon Bobian, 31, of Pueblo was identified as the driver. Danisha Pacheco, 28, and Anthony Vallejos, 32, were passengers. All are from Pueblo and were taken into custody on felonies, while Bobian and Vallejos were also booked on active felony warrants.
Police did not immediately identify what criminal counts they face or release information on their warrants.
Timeline: Stolen vehicle chase started at 4 p.m.
Fountain Police said the request to pursue the suspect came from the Department of Corrections Parole Unit and involved multiple police agencies, including the Colorado Springs Police Department. It started around 4 p.m., with the driver reportedly headed north on I-25 from Pueblo in a stolen vehicle.
The vehicle was tracked to Colorado Springs, near the Citadel Mall, and later was spotted around 5:30 p.m. near a Lowe’s store at North Academy Boulevard and Platte Avenue.
“It is believed the suspects were attempting to steal another vehicle at Lowe’s, but officers were unable to confirm that information due to losing visual contact with the vehicle,” Fountain Police stated in the release.
The vehicle was spotted headed south on I-25 toward Fountain around 7:15 p.m. and was tracked to the area of Highway 85 and Alegre Circle, police said. Police unsuccessfully tried to stop the vehicle and kept following, but the driver started traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-25.
“Due to the dangerous actions of the suspects, officers disengaged and stopped following the vehicle, terminating the pursuit due to excessive speeds and the extreme risk to the public,” the release states.
Another carjacking attempt at a gas station
Eventually, the driver started traveling in the proper lanes and later tried “to commit another armed carjacking” at a Love’s Travel Plaza parking lot.
“Based on numerous violent felonies continuing to be committed and the extreme risk to the public, officers were forced to reengage the suspects and attempt to apprehend them to prevent the loss of life or serious bodily injury to the public,” the release states.
The pursuit continued around 7:45 p.m. A tire deflation device “partially disabled” the vehicle as the driver exited I-25 at South Academy, but the driver kept going, police said.
Police then used their own vehicle to stop the suspect’s on South Academy, just east of Hartford Street. But the suspect began to run away, and that’s when the officer fell from the bridge.
“The suspect attempted to jump off the bridge to elude officers, at which time the officers grabbed him to prevent his escape and fall. As the suspect was hanging over the bridge he repeatedly stated, ‘Let me go, I want to die.’ The officers were able to pull him up to safety and place him into custody without incident,” according to police.
FOX31 obtained new video showing the end of the chase. Watch that below.
Witnesses describe scene after police chase
FOX31’s Vicente Arenas spoke with an eyewitness who saw the high-speed chase come to an end.
Jordan Guy was with relatives and friends when the chase unfolded suddenly on their way home.
“We see more cop cars, and like within seconds, it goes from the cop cars doing a fishtail maneuver on the vehicle to a loud crash, and then the car is smoking. We were like, what’s going on?” Guy said.
Guy was headed in the opposite direction on the divided bridge. She was able to record portions of the chase and crash.
“I definitely was kind of scared. I almost wanted us to leave, ’cause I think in one of the videos you hear me say, ‘Oh, I don’t like this. I think we should go,'” Guy added.
An officer told Guy to stay put in the car because a medical helicopter would be landing.
“I was kind of like, frozen. I was just thinking, what’s going to happen?” Guy said.