A man on Sunday led officers from multiple agencies on a high-speed, 50-mile chase through Dolores and Mancos before he crashed and was arrested on U.S. Highway 160 east of Cortez.
A deputy and a recruit were injured and were being treated Sunday evening at Southwest Memorial Hospital, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steven Nowlin.
According to Nowlin and the Colorado State Patrol, which assisted in the pursuit, speeds exceeded 100 mph on Colorado highways 145 and 184 and on U.S. 160.
The man was identified as Casey Larsen, 59. He was driving a silver 1994 Chevy van.
Nowlin, reporting Sunday afternoon from Southwest Memorial, said Deputy John Haynes and recruit David Martin were injured as they tried to deploy spike strips at the Dolores River bridge on the southwestern edge of Dolores on Colorado 145.
Haynes and Martin jumped off the bridge to avoid being hit by the van, which swerved toward them, Nowlin said.
The pursuit began Sunday afternoon on County Road 38 in Dolores County, along the west fork of the Dolores River.
Dolores County Sheriff Don Wilson said deputies responded to a report of a possible burglary at a residence on Road 38 Sunday about 1 p.m. Upon investigation, a resident reported a van in the area of the burglary, Wilson said. A deputy spotted a van that fit the description near the Mavreeso Campground, and attempted to pull it over, but the driver refused. Deputies pursued the van to Colorado 145.
Montezuma County deputies took over the pursuit after Larsen crossed the county line and drove through Dolores.
After crossing the Dolores River bridge, Larsen headed south on Colorado 184 toward Mancos. The Mancos Marshal’s Office also attempted to use spike strips to slow the vehicle north of Mancos.
Mancos Marshal Justen Goddall said on Monday that he encountered Larsen on Colorado 184 near County Road S north of town, where Larsen came at him “head-on.”
Goodall said he encountered Larsen on Colorado 184 in an attempt to keep him out of town.
He then pursued Larsen, along with a state trooper and Montezuma County deputy, east on U.S. 160 toward Cortez.
About 3 p.m., a Colorado State Patrol trooper took the lead in the pursuit as Larsen drove west on U.S. 160 toward Cortez, reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. Nowlin said. The trooper used a tactical maneuver to push Larsen’s vehicle sideways, and the van then veered across the eastbound lane of U.S. 160 at mile marker 45, and rolled onto its side in a field.
A state trooper and Montezuma County deputy used stun devices to subdue Larsen, who resisted arrest, Goodall said. Larsen was taken from the scene by ambulance.
In addition to swerving toward Haynes and Martin on the Dolores bridge, Larsen swerved toward oncoming vehicles on Colorado 184 and U.S. 160, Nowlin said, and he could face charges of attempted homicide.
Haynes suffered a broken ankle and has been released from the hospital, Nowlin said. Martin remains hospitalized with a broken ankle and leg.
Wilson said the investigation is ongoing, but no citations have been issued. A search warrant for the van is being sought.
Larsen was scheduled to appear in Montezuma County court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for an advisement hearing.
Dolores County deputies canvassed West Fork homes Monday to check on whether there may have been other burglaries.
The eastbound lane of traffic on U.S. 160 was closed at the crash site, and officers directed drivers past the scene.
Law enforcement officers from the Colorado State Patrol, Cortez Police Department, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and Mancos Marshal’s Office responded to the scene.