A barefoot, shirtless man, who was doused in lighter fluid and driving an ATV, led police and deputies on a brief chase Wednesday afternoon.
The Fourth of July incident started about 4 p.m., when Cortez police responded to a report of domestic violence in the 800 block of South Chestnut Street.
According to an incident report written by patrol officer Koby Guttridge, witnesses said a resident named Jon Sanders had an altercation with his wife, who had a protection order against him, and grabbed her by the hair during an argument in front of their trailer. When she broke away from him, Sanders reportedly poured lighter fluid all over himself and left the area on an all-terrain vehicle.
While Guttridge was talking to witnesses, Police Sgt. Brandon Gunderson reportedly spotted Sanders on South Oak Street, and Guttridge followed him and attempted to pull him over. Instead of stopping, Sanders reportedly steered around his patrol car and into the opposite lane of traffic. By that time, Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputies had been called to help in the pursuit.
According to the report, Sanders led law enforcement officers on a chase from Oak Street to North Dolores Road, often swerving in and out of parked and moving cars, and going off the road to lose patrol cars in rougher terrain. He avoided an attempt by Deputy Xavier Brito to pull him over near Hawkins Preserve, but Guttridge and Cortez patrol officer Ryan Martin eventually caught up with him at the end of Empire Street, near Cortez Cemetery.
Martin reportedly struck the rear end of the ATV with his patrol car, spinning it around, then stopped in front of it so Sanders couldn’t go forward. The suspect put a hand up in a gesture of surrender, according to the report, and Guttridge pulled him to the ground to handcuff him.
After he was arrested, Sanders reportedly cooperated with police and apologized for running from them. When officers asked why he had poured lighter fluid on himself, he said he was hoping they would use a stun gun on him and he would catch fire.
He was treated at Southwest Memorial Hospital for an injury to his left foot. He had reportedly driven his ATV barefoot and cut his foot on a peg.
His wife reportedly had no visible injuries.
Sanders was arrested on suspicion of vehicular eluding, second-degree assault, domestic violence and a protection order violation, and was booked into Montezuma County Detention Center. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday.