A high-speed chase ended Monday south of Durango with one suspect in custody.
Around 3 p.m., a La Plata County Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted an individual who the deputy recognized as having an outstanding warrant for a variety of driving and traffic-related violations.
When the deputy tried to contact the individual near the Walmart parking lot, 1155 South Camino Del Rio, the suspect took off in a car.
Sgt. Richard Paige identified the man as Sterling Sam. Paige was unaware of how old Sam is, but estimated he is in his late 20s.
Sam allegedly took off from police and drove south on La Posta Road (County Road 213).
Paige said the driver used excessive speed on the two-lane, sometimes narrow and winding county road.
Deputies in pursuit were forced to slow down as the chase passed a bicyclist.
“The deputy had to back off to allow everyone’s speed to drop and not pressure the driver,” Paige said.
Sam turned onto an oil and gas access road near the 9000 block of La Posta Road and abandoned his vehicle at a gas well site, leaving it running. Sam then fled on foot.
Paige said deputies were able to follow Sam’s footprints in the dry, sandy soil. He was located hiding in vegetation and was taken into custody without incident.
“He came peacefully and quietly,” Paige said. “He wasn’t aggressive and didn’t fight.”
In all, the chase lasted about 20 minutes and traveled about 5 miles.
Paige said it was determined Sam is Native American, and it’s likely the chase led to Southern Ute Indian Tribal land, so the case was transferred to the Southern Ute Indian Police.
Paige said authorities are working to transfer Sam to La Plata County. He then will receive various charges, such as eluding police and failure to comply with his warrant.
La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Burke said Sam is suspected of driving while impaired.