LONGMONT, Colo. -- A man suspected of stealing an SUV with a 4-year-old boy inside and then carjacking two other vehicles was arrested Wednesday after police tracked him, and at times chased him, around the Denver area during morning rush hour.
The pursuit ended after the suspect caused a multiple-car crash at an intersection in a silver sedan he had just taken. He ran off, crossing the parking lot of a business and running so wildly he lost his jacket. He struggled to jump a fence, and then seemed to give up, lying face down in the snow, wearing jeans and a white tank top. Three police officers reached him, pinning him to the ground.
The scene was broadcast live from a news station's helicopter as was the rest of the ordeal that played out over 75 miles.
Police said the suspect first stole a sport utility vehicle with the child inside at a gas station in Longmont, north of Denver. Detective Joel Post told KUSA-TV that his parents left the engine running, while they went into the station's convenience store at about 6:30 a.m. The mother, Post said, then looked out the window of the shop and "saw the suspect drive away with the 4-year-old in the car." More than an hour later, Post said the boy was safe and detectives were taking the parents to reunite with him.
Soon after the SUV was taken, television helicopters spotted a speeding vehicle matching that description. After about a half-hour, the driver stopped and carjacked a minivan and took off in it the wrong direction on the highway.
Later, after apparently losing a tire on the minivan, he sideswiped another vehicle and threw the driver out of the car.
The suspect sped along several highways in the Denver area, avoiding the worst traffic near downtown.
For most of the time, police appeared to hang back, even after the suspect abandoned the SUV stolen with the boy in it. At one point, police tried using stop sticks to halt the suspect but failed.