A suspect in a stolen vehicle led Cortez police officers on a chase Thursday night that ended in a crash on South Elm Street in Cortez.
The incident started about 10:30 p.m., when the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a motor vehicle theft at Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc. Police officers reportedly saw a white car matching the vehicle’s description outside Angel’s End Zone on South Broadway about 11:30 p.m., and followed it to Main Street, where a patrol car attempted to pull it over. The driver reportedly accelerated, leading police on a short chase before turning onto Third Street, becoming airborne, driving through several yards and crashing into a parked car.
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said the stolen car hit another vehicle while leaving the casino parking lot at 10:30 p.m., but no injuries were reported. The Bureau of Indian Affairs took over the crash investigation.
Police got behind the stolen vehicle near the intersection of Main and First streets, Patrol Lt. Andy Brock said. As soon as the patrol cars turned on their lights, he said, the driver accelerated. The vehicle went out of control after hitting a curb on Third Street.
“He caught some air,” Brock said.
After going through about 3 yards, damaging several fences and a vehicle, the car T-boned a parked vehicle near the Fourth and South Elm street intersection.
The driver, 29-year-old Towaoc resident Adrian Beletso, was seriously injured in the crash, Brock said. He was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction about 1 a.m.
Brock said police suspect that Beletso was under the influence of alcohol at the time. When he is able to return to Cortez, he will likely face numerous charges, including aggravated motor vehicle theft, DUI and vehicular eluding.
Beletso was known to police through a previous criminal history, Brock said.
The Colorado State Patrol also assisted with the crash investigation. No injuries to police or civilians were reported.