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Vehicle 'rampage' that injured 6 leads to bias-motivated charges

Prosecutors said they believe Tyler Hazell, 23, targeted a victim due to his perceived sexual orientation in the incident that also injured two DPD officers.
Credit: Foster Gaines/KUSA
A vehicle struck a pedestrian and left the scene at West 14th Avenue and North Broadway on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021.

DENVER — A man is being charged with bias-motivated crimes after a vehicle "rampage" in downtown Denver that left six people injured, the Denver District Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday.

The district attorney's office said prosecutors believe Tyler Hazell, 23, targeted one of the victims due to his perceived sexual orientation during the Jan. 30 incident.

>Video above from Jan. 31: Arrest document reveals new details about 'rampage' through Denver streets.

Hazell is being charged with 15 counts including the following:

  • Criminal attempt to commit first degree murder 
  • Bias-motivated crime
  • First and second degree assault
  • Menacing
  • Criminal mischief

Hazell is scheduled to appear in Denver District Court at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Credit: Denver District Attorney's Office
Tyler Hazell

RELATED: Arrest document reveals new details about 'rampage' through Denver streets

According to a probable cause statement from the Denver Police Department (DPD), the incident began when officers were called to the Burger King on West Colfax Avenue west of Speer Boulevard at around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday Jan. 30.

Officers responded to a disturbance report, the statement says, between Hazell and restaurant employees. The statement says the 23-year-old drove off in his Honda Pilot before officers arrived, heading east on West Colfax. 

Hazell then stopped at a traffic light at West Colfax and North Delaware Street, the statement says, then drove backward for two blocks until he was next to a Honda Civic. 

The statement says Hazell rolled down his window and said, "Race me or die" to the women in the Civic. Terrified, the woman said she made a U-turn on West Colfax but Hazell went after them and rammed the back of their car, the statement says.

Hazell continued to follow the Civic and rammed the passenger side several times, according to the statement.

He then took off, the statement says, and the woman called 911.

According to the statement, Hazell continued eastbound before intentionally going off the road on West 14th Avenue at Broadway in an effort to run down two men who were walking on the sidewalk. They scattered as Hazell approached, the statement says, but he continued to chase one of them and ran him down, breaking his pelvis and legs.

After that, the statement says Hazell got back onto West 14th Avenue and drove the wrong way down the street, stopped to give a transient man a high five and got out to take a photo.

Hazell got back in his car, according to the statement, and headed east down West 14th until he arrived at the 1400 block of North Delaware Street. That's where Hazell then intentionally rammed the side of a marked DPD police car being driven by an officer with a prisoner in the back, the statement says.

Hazell then continued southbound on North Delaware for about 75 feet before intentionally ramming another DPD car, according to the statement. Both patrol cars were disabled, the statement says. DPD said both officers and the prisoner suffered with minor injuries.

After that, Hazell drove back to the Burger King parking lot where he rammed a parked truck with no one inside, according to the statement. 

An officer who was already at the Burger King investigating the original disturbance tried to stop Hazell, according to the statement, but Hazell ignored the officer's emergency lights and got away. 

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The statement says Hazell continued his "rampage" into other areas and was eventually contacted by officers from multiple jurisdictions in the 7800 block of Quebec Parkway in Commerce City when his vehicle finally stopped running due to previous damage.

Hazell refused to follow officers' orders to get out of his car, the statement says, but they eventually managed to get him out of his car and take him into custody.

He was then taken to Denver Health and turned over to Denver Sheriff deputies, the statement says.

Hazell was placed on hold for investigation including an outstanding felony warrant, according to the statement.

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