A man in a skid-steer loader who allegedly tried to run people over Friday night in northern La Plata County was arrested at gunpoint, police said.
John Westlund, 37, allegedly approached two neighbors around 7:30 p.m. on Lake Purgatory Drive who were putting chains on their vehicles. He was yelling at the neighbors from the driver’s seat of a skid-steer loader, said Colorado State Patrol Capt. Adrian Driscoll. At some point, the situation turned violent, and Westlund allegedly took the bucket of the loader and destroyed the victims’ vehicles.
A 2005 Chevrolet Malibu and a 2007 Toyota Camry were totaled in the incident, Driscoll said.
Westlund then turned the machinery on the victims and tried to run them over, Driscoll said.
“It’s not slow like a steamroller; it can get up and go,” Driscoll said of the loader. “They can actually move pretty fast.”
Both victims were able to get out of the way of the skid-steer loader before it hit them, Driscoll said. When police arrived and contacted Westlund at his Columbine Way residence, Westlund allegedly tried to run over the officers with the machinery, he said.
No injuries were reported.
State troopers pulled their guns and ordered Westlund out of the vehicle. It took some time, but just before midnight, Westlund was arrested, Driscoll said.
Westlund was arrested on two counts of criminal attempt second-degree assault on a peace officer, four counts of felony menacing and criminal mischief of $5,000 to $20,000.