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Driver arrested after brief police pursuit in Cortez

Suspect nearly caused collisions, officer says

A man was arrested outside the Ute Coffee Shop in Cortez after a brief chase with police down North Broadway on Wednesday morning.

According to an incident report, patrol officer Brandon Gunderson started following a vehicle on North Broadway about 9:59 a.m. because he believed the driver, Richard Coster, had a denied license. Coster reportedly began accelerating at the Empire Street intersection, leading Gunderson to pursue him with sirens on until Coster crashed into a median and stopped in the coffee shop parking lot.

Coster was arrested on suspicion of vehicular eluding, reckless driving and driving with a denied license.

After he first noticed Coster accelerating, Gunderson wrote in his report that the suspect made several turns “at a high rate of speed” down West Coronado Avenue, North Linden Street, West Downey Avenue and North Elm Street, and drove through two stop signs without slowing down. After turning back onto Broadway, Coster reportedly crashed into the center median and went airborne, driving into the southbound lanes of traffic and nearly colliding with another vehicle.

Gunderson reported the front end of the vehicle was smoking and it was leaking fluids after the crash. Coster reportedly drove south on North Broadway until he pulled into the coffee shop parking lot. At that point, Gunderson said he caught up to the vehicle, which stopped. Coster reportedly got out of his car with his hands up and started yelling. Gunderson drew his handgun and ordered the suspect to get on the ground, which he reportedly did after several commands.

Coster said he was sorry and that “he was just running because he did not have a driver’s license,” according to the report.

Personnel from the Cortez Fire Protection District cleaned up the fluids that had leaked onto the road. Coster was left in the custody of the Montezuma County Detention Center.

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