Cortez police fired on a vehicle driven by a man wanted on an outstanding warrant from Mississippi Tuesday.
As the suspect sped away, the vehicle brushed against an officer and started police on a reckless chase through city streets.
According to a police report, Cortez police contacted Leslie C. Rutland, 37, in a Toyota Rav 4 in the parking lot of Wendys restaurant approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Rutland matched the description of a suspect wanted for suspicious activity earlier that day.
While waiting for a witness to arrive to identify the suspect, Rutland was ordered to exit the vehicle, at which point he allegedly refused, accelerating the vehicle. The Toyota brushed against Cortez Police Department Sgt. Larry Henson, who was attempting to open the drivers side door, according to a police report that Henson filed.
Henson reported firing his gun twice at the vehicles left tire.
Police officer Angelo Martinez reported seeing the suspect vehicle speeding out of the Wendys parking lot, alleging the vehicle ran a stop sign and almost collided with several vehicles while crossing Main Street, according to Martinezs police report. Martinez pursued the vehicle north on Washington Street, where it allegedly blew through a stop sign while turning onto Montezuma Avenue, missing another vehicle by inches.
The driver then slammed on his brakes, Martinezs report states, causing smoke to come from the tires as it turned onto North Beech Street. While attempting to turn onto Arbecam Avenue, the vehicle collided with a curb and teetered onto two wheels, after which point the driver got out of the vehicle and put his hands on his head.
Rutland was ordered to the ground at gunpoint and taken into custody. According to the report, after Martinez asked Rutland how much he had to drink, the suspect responded by saying, Too much to be driving.
Rutland was taken to the Montezuma County Detention Center on suspicion of felony eluding, third-degree assault, theft, DUI, driving under restraint/suspended license, disorderly conduct, two counts of disregarding a stop sign, no proof of insurance and displaying expired license plates.
He reportedly had an outstanding warrant for vehicular theft in Rancin County, Miss., and was suspected in alleged incidents of reckless driving, disorderly conduct and theft of a beer from a Cortez convenience store earlier that day.
Reach Reid Wright at email@example.com.