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High-speed chase suspect arrested

The suspect in last week’s high-speed chase in the Pagosa Lakes area was apprehended Sunday following another high-speed chase.

That suspect, Lon Joseph Peterson, 30, of Pagosa Springs, was wanted on several felony warrants, including one stemming from last week’s pursuit.

According to a press release from the Colorado State Patrol, Peterson was apprehended following a high-speed chase that began in Durango and ended in Bayfield.

At about 7:12 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, Trooper Jason Shimp attempted to stop a 2003 Dodge pickup that was traveling westbound on U.S. 160 near the Home Depot in Durango (mile marker 88) for a violation of Colorado’s “Move Over Law” (failing to move over or slow down for a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights activated).

“The pickup briefly pulled over to the shoulder, at which time a female passenger jumped out and put her hands in the air,” the press release states.

That woman, identified as Alicia Snow, 42, of Pagosa Springs, was detained by the Durango Police Department on behalf of the CSP, but was released after questioning, according to the press release.

After briefly pulling over, the pickup sped away and a pursuit was initiated by the CSP.

The pickup then turned around near Wal-Mart in Durango and headed eastbound on U.S. 160, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.

“Near milepost 98 (Dry Creek), CSP Sgt. Ben Stuever successfully deployed a tire disabling device which eventually deflated two of the pickup’s tires,” the press release states.

At Bayfield, the pickup, with two deflated tires, exited onto U.S. 160-B and continued eastbound through Bayfield.

“While attempting to turn south on County Road 521 (Buck Highway), the suspect lost control and spun out in the roadway. At that time a CSP patrol car pushed the suspect vehicle and pinned it against a curb,” the release states.

At that point, the suspect exited his truck and ran a short distance before being apprehended by troopers.

Earlier that day, an Archuleta County Sheriff’s deputy had spotted Peterson in another pickup, but that deputy was unable to make contact, said Archuleta County Undersheriff Jim Saunders.

At the time of his apprehension in Bayfield, Peterson was wanted on four outstanding warrants from a variety of agencies, including theft, trespass, and last week’s eluding charge.

For Sunday’s incident, charges include felony eluding, reckless driving, possession of drugs and other traffic infractions.

All incidents remain under investigation.

Last week, Peterson is suspected of leading another trooper on a high-speed chase through a number of Pagosa Springs neighborhoods.

According to the incident blotter from the CSP, Trooper Scott Fenwick attempted to stop a black 1989 Chevrolet pickup shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, on U.S. 160 near Alpha Drive.

Fenwick followed the pickup as it turned onto Pinon Causeway, to Village Drive, then to Davis Cup Drive.

The vehicle accelerated to high speeds, the report notes. In an interview, Cpl. Randy Talbot said the pickup, on average, ran about 45 mph over the posted speed limits.

Fenwick then pursued the pickup down Davis Cup Drive and onto Park Avenue, where the pickup ran off the road.

At that point, the report states that Fenwick recognized the driver as Peterson. Then the suspect freed the pickup, collided with Fenwick’s patrol car and left the scene “at a high rate of speed.”

Fenwick pursued Peterson for approximately 16 miles before terminating the chase on Cloud Cap Avenue, the report indicates.

The report also indicates that use of alcohol and/or drugs is suspected in the incident.

As of presstime Wednesday, Peterson remained in custody at the La Plata County Detention Facility on a $5,000 bond.

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