Keep Westword Free
| Crime |

Fourteen-year old leads Colorado State Patrol on 100 mile chase in (possibly) stolen car

What's the most memorable thing you did at age fourteen? In all likelihood, it was less audacious, and less dangerous, than the acts committed earlier today by an Eastern Colorado teen, who led the Colorado State Patrol on a high-speed chase for a hundred miles before finally being wrenched from a car that may or may not have been stolen.

CSP Trooper Heather Cobler has the cinematic details.

According to Cobler, the excitement began at 6:57 a.m. in the tiny town of Arriba -- one of the favorite words of a certain Speedy Gonzales -- after the CSP received a report of a fuel theft. This information was "BOLOed out," meaning officers were alerted to "be on the lookout" for a green Pontiac coupe.

As luck would have it, the CSP had a vehicle in the area -- but it was a hazmat truck, which the teen was easily able to outrun. Another trooper picked up the tail again at westbound Interstate 70 near mile post 373, but the teen refused to pull over, instead using what Cobler refers to as "speed and lane violations" to maintain a lead. Then, near Byers, the pursuit was discontinued due to safety concerns.

"It's a balancing act," Cobler says of such decisions. "We need to weigh what the initial violation was, the reason for the stop, versus possible jeopardy to the public, the officers and the suspect as well. And in this case, the initial report was about fuel theft. We didn't have a report about other dangerous actions, like assault or the presence of weapons. So we decided to terminate."

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Not that they washed their hands of the Arriba leadfoot. The CSP contacted the Aurora Police Department, and near I-70 and Tower Road, they tossed out what Cobler calls "stop sticks -- they're a triangular kind of thing, and underneath the cloth it's got some little metal posts, like a hollow nail that goes into the tires and lets the air out slowly, so it's safer."

The stop sticks worked, flattening all four of the Pontiac's tires. But when officers approached the coupe, the teenager resisted, albeit passively. "She refused to exit the vehicle," Cobler notes, "so a window had to be broken to remove her."

The teen was taken to Lincoln County hospital to be treated for minor injuries -- likely cuts or scratches from the broken glass -- before being transported to court. At this point, Cobler says, "the stolen vehicle report is still in the hands of the registered owner," whose name isn't being released to avoid providing information that might lead to the identification of the fourteen-year old.

Who'll have one helluva story to tell some day.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.