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Cortez man arrested after police chase; shots fired

Suspect reportedly hit patrol cars, fence in County Road G chase

A man was arrested Sunday on multiple charges after leading Cortez police officers on a chase near County Road G.

According to an incident report by patrol officer Traci Mueller, Cortez resident Sonnie Gustamantez was arrested just after midnight following a lengthy chase.

Mueller reportedly tried to pull the man’s vehicle over on South Broadway about 10:45 p.m. for speeding and swerving over the fog line, but he drove onto County Road G and accelerated until officers were told to give up the pursuit about 2 miles past the County Road 21 intersection.

He was arrested later that night after a Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputy spotted his vehicle heading back toward Cortez, but he reportedly refused to stop his vehicle until he had driven it into a ditch and police had shot out his tires.

After Cortez police gave up pursuing Gustamantez, Montezuma County deputy Casey Eubanks reportedly followed him at a slower pace to make sure he hadn’t crashed. But before the police officers returned to Cortez, he told them he had seen the suspect’s vehicle heading back eastbound on Road G.

Police reportedly picked up the pursuit again with more patrol cars and followed Gustamantez at about 55 mph, until they reached a dead end near the County Road 25 intersection.

At that point, according to the report, the suspect turned off his vehicle’s lights, turned around and struck a patrol car, then swerved in an apparent attempt to hit another. He then turned east onto County Road F and sped onto an unpaved driveway.

When police once again tried to contact him, he reportedly drove through a fence, knocking it down, and became stuck at the bottom of a steep hill. He reportedly tried to drive backward, and the officers responded by firing three shots at his vehicle’s tires.

Sgt. Glen Edwards and patrol officers Frank Kobel and Brad Milligin then surrounded the vehicle with their guns drawn.

Once he finally came to a stop, Gustamantez was pulled out of his vehicle and arrested.

A small bottle of alcohol was found in his jacket pocket. He reportedly refused to take a sobriety test, but was medically cleared at Southwest Memorial Hospital before being taken to jail, because he showed signs of intoxication.

He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault and several traffic offenses, including reckless driving and DUI.

Police Lt. Andy Brock said no patrol cars were seriously damaged during the incident, and no injuries were reported.

During the follow-up investigation, officers reportedly learned Gustamantez had also collided with a flatbed trailer near the private driveway where he was arrested, causing it to move about 26 feet. Gustamantez’s vehicle was severely damaged by the collisions.

Charges are set to be filed against Gustamantez at 2 p.m. on Feb. 7.

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