Hit-and-run ‘rampage’ driver stops to high five transient, take photo

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DENVER (KDVR) — Tyler Hazell is being held for investigation of first-degree assault for his alleged involvement in a series of hit-and-runs that occurred on Saturday morning near downtown Denver.

There are a lot of questions surrounding what prompted Hazell to drive erratically around downtown Denver Saturday morning – injuring a man and ramming police cars. 

According to arrest documents, police were called to a disturbance at a Burger King located at 1010 W. Colfax Ave. around 8:30 a.m. The 23-year-old driver of a 2003 Honda Pilot fled before officers arrived.

Officials report Hazell stopped at a traffic light on W. Colfax Avenue and Delaware Street then drove backwards the wrong way for two blocks until he stopped next to a black Honda Civic. Documents say he challenged two women in the Civic to “Race me or die.”

The women tried to get away from Hazell by making a u-turn on W. Colfax but he followed and rammed the back of their car. He continued following them, ramming the side of their car several times, the document says.

Hazell finally fled and the women drove westbound on Colfax while calling 911, the document says. Officials directed them to the District 1 station to file a report.

Continuing to W. 14th Avenue, Hazell drove off the roadway onto the sidewalk attempting to run over two men walking. The men managed to get out of the way of the Honda Pilot. He continued to run one of the men down, hitting him and fracturing his pelvis and leg, according to the arrest document.

Hazell drove back onto W. 14th Avenue the wrong direction and stopped to high five a transient and take a photo, arrest documents say.

Around the 1400 block of N. Delaware Street, Hazell rams the side of a moving marked Denver police car injuring an officer and prisoner.

Hazell continued on Delaware Street for about 75 feet ramming another Denver patrol car and injuring another officer.

Hazell drove back to the parking lot of the Burger King on Colfax where the incident began, and rammed an empty parked truck. An officer investigating the original call attempted to stop Hazell but he fled.

After a chase through several jurisdictions, Hazell was apprehended near the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City.

Video from SkyFOX shows the driver being removed from from the Honda Pilot at gunpoint on Quebec Parkway.

The officer and prisoner injured were transported to the hospital, treated and released. The other officer was treated for minor injuries.

Hazell also has an outstanding felony warrant, in addition to facing the first-degree assault charge. The Denver District Attorney’s office will determine final charges.

Hazell was supposed to show up in court Monday morning. The judge said he has the right to refuse to appear for the first hearing. A new hearing has been rescheduled for Tuesday morning. 

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