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Brighton man leads deputies on chase, admits to impersonating officer, sheriff's office says

Deputies say Nathan Lopez followed a couple home on Thursday and asked to see their IDs.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A Brighton man was arrested Friday morning after leading Weld County Sheriff's deputies on a chase. The arrested man is also being held on suspicion of impersonating a police officer, deputies said.

Nathan Gilbert Lopez, 34, is being held for suspicion of felony eluding, two counts of reckless driving, speeding and driving without proof of insurance.

Deputies said on Thursday afternoon, a couple was towing a horse trailer to their home in the Arrowhead subdivision near Greeley, and they were almost hit by a black Dodge Charger that ran a red light at 65th Avenue and 37th Street southwest of Greeley.

The driver of the Charger followed the couple to their home, according to deputies. 

The couple asked the Charger's driver why he had followed them. The driver, later identified as Lopez, told the couple that he was an undercover Weld County Sheriff's deputy assigned to the FBI, according to the sheriff's office.

The couple told deputies that the driver asked to see their driver licenses, which is considered an official police act. The driver of the Charger left after the couple threatened to call the sheriff's office, deputies said.

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At about 8:45 a.m. Friday, Weld County deputies spotted the Charger near Weld County Road 14 1/2 near Fort Lupton. 

A news release said deputies turned on their lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the car over, but the Charger sped away from them. Deputies began to chase the vehicle, but called off the pursuit around Weld County Road 8 due to public safety concerns.

The Charger continued south on Highway 85 and turned right onto 16th Avenue near Brighton.

The Charger crashed into another vehicle at Tucson Street, and Lopez was taken into custody, according to deputies.

While being questioned at the sheriff's office, deputies said Lopez admitted he told the couple from the Thursday incident that he was an undercover Weld County Sheriff's deputy.

The sheriff's office said Lopez is not a suspect in other police impersonations that occurred in Eaton, Greeley and other areas of northern Colorado.

Anyone who might have information on the unsolved impersonation cases is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff's Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

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