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Man accused of stealing patrol car, responding to call before high-speed chase

The suspect broke into a substation in Lake George and stole a 2013 Dodge Durango, according to the Park County Sheriff.

PARK COUNTY, Colo. — A 33-year-old man stole a patrol car, impersonated a police officer responding to a domestic violence call and led deputies on a high-speed chase early Monday morning, the Park County Sheriff said.

Jeremiah Taylor faces charges including:

  • aggravated vehicle theft
  • impersonating a peace officer
  • resisting arrest

Deputies with the Park and Teller County Sheriff's Offices used a Taser and fired "at least one shot" before taking Taylor into custody, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said. 

"It was a bad morning that ended well," McGraw said, adding that it was the first time in his 40 years in law enforcement that someone stole one of his deputies' vehicles.

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McGraw said Taylor broke into the department's Lake George substation around 3 a.m. on June 20 and found the keys for a marked 2013 Dodge Durango. When Taylor turned the car on, McGraw said, the police radio automatically started up and he overheard a call for Teller County deputies to respond to a domestic violence report.

When deputies arrived at the call, McGraw said they found Taylor in the stolen Park County truck already on scene. McGraw said Taylor had told the people inside the home he was a Park County deputy though they later told investigators they suspected "he was drunk." 

According to an arrest affidavit, he reportedly drove up with the siren on and asked them "where's the old man that's going to shoot someone?"

 

Taylor sped off when the deputies arrived, despite their orders to stop, the affidavit says. Deputies later spotted him around 5:30 a.m. in Divide and gave chase down Highway 24 and County Road 77, at times driving faster than 100 miles per hour, McGraw said.

"I was surprised the old Durango could go that fast," he said. 

Listening to the pursuit on his police radio, McGraw said he was "relieved" when Taylor turned onto the mountainous Matakat Road, which reduced the chance Taylor would crash head-on into another driver. At times he had crossed the double yellow line and ignored traffic rules, the affidavit says.

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Around mile marker 4, Taylor crashed the stolen Durango and ran into the woods, McGraw said. Deputies found and tried to arrest him 200 yards from the wreck, but Taylor did not comply, made incoherent statements and held a t-shaped "belt knife" during a 30-minute standoff, McGraw said. 

"During the confrontation, a Taser was deployed and at least one shot was fired by a law enforcement officer," a press release from the Teller County Sheriff's Office said.

McGraw said detectives from Jefferson County were investigating the officer-involved shooting and he declined to provide more details. Deputies brought Taylor to the hospital, McGraw said he was bleeding but not seriously injured. 

The Durango is "probably totaled" McGraw said. Taylor was on probation for menacing, theft and DUI, the Teller County release said. He is being held in the Teller County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

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