EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — A police chase in El Paso County Thursday ended with a Fountain Police officer being seriously injured in a fall.
The Fountain Police Department (FPD) said the chase began around 4 p.m. when FPD's Directed Investigation Community Engagement (DICE) team was asked to assist the Colorado Department of Corrections Parole Unit with locating a carjacking suspect from the Pueblo area who had felony warrants.
The vehicle was believed to be heading north on Interstate 25 from Pueblo, police said. Several law enforcement agencies were helping with locating it, and vehicle tracking led officers into Colorado Springs near the Citadel Mall.
Police said after an on-and-off pursuit that included several unsuccessful attempts to stop the vehicle and the suspects attempting at least one carjacking, officers finally caught up with them on South Academy Boulevard and used a tire deflation device to try to stop them. The vehicle was partially disabled, police said, but the suspects continued to elude officers.
According to FPD's policy manual, the department's policy on vehicle pursuits is "to weigh the importance of apprehending suspects who unlawfully flee from law enforcement against the risks associated with vehicle pursuits" when deciding whether to chase a suspect.
FPD said officers performed a tactical maneuver on the suspect vehicle on South Academy Boulevard just east of Hartford Street, and the driver jumped out and ran from officers. While they were trying to apprehend him, one officer fell over the bridge and landed 40 feet below. The suspect attempted to jump off the bridge to elude officers, but they grabbed him to keep him from getting away.
Police said as the suspect was hanging over the bridge, he repeatedly said, "Let me go, I want to die." The officers managed to pull him up to safety and arrest him.
A total of three suspects were taken into custody and booked at the El Paso County jail. The driver of the vehicle and the one police were originally looking for was 31-year-old Devon Bobian of Pueblo, police said. The other two suspects, who were passengers in the vehicle, were identified as 28-year-old Danisha Pacheco and 32-year-old Anthony Vallejos, both from Pueblo.
The injured officer is Officer Julian Becerra. He has been with the department for 4 1/2 years and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division as a K9 officer. Police said Friday he was in critical but stable condition.
Donations can be made to the Becerra family at this link. Those who want to make a donation should check the "Designated" box and enter Julian Becerra in the "Designated Officer Name" field.
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