6-hour Silverthorne SWAT operation fails to turn up suspect
Nearly a dozen police cars including a SWAT vehicle swarmed around a Quality Inn in Silverthorne for roughly six hours on Wednesday, believing they may have surrounded a suspect who had rammed a cop car and eluded capture the night before.
It turned out, however, that he wasn’t there. Police called off the operation at around 6 p.m. but say they are continuing to pursue the suspect, who is still at large and thought to be armed.
The Aurora Police Department contacted Silverthorne police at around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night asking for help locating a wanted man they believed to be in the area, police chief John Minor said in an email Wednesday evening.
A Dillon police officer soon tried to stop a car matching the description of the suspect’s, but the driver rammed the police cruiser and sped away (the officer was uninjured).
Silverthorne police briefly pursued him but he escaped and abandoned his car in Frisco. Authorities found his vehicle there at around 9 p.m. in the parking lot of an office complex off Main Street that was quickly swarmed more than a dozen police.
There, officers scoured the surrounding bushes with flashlights as curious patrons of a nearby bar and restaurant stepped into the red and blue light of flashing police cruisers.
They stood listening as a deputy with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office bellowed, “Suspect!” repeatedly into the night, hoping to beckon the man from the shadows before releasing a canine to sniff out and subdue him.
He was nowhere to be found.
At around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, police got a tip that the man was holed up in a Quality Inn on the corner of Tanglewood Lane and Ptarmigan Trail in Silverthorne.
Once again, officers from virtually every law enforcement agency in the county descended upon the scene, digging in around the parking lot where a SWAT vehicle stood with its rear doors open to cops in full tactical gear waiting patiently throughout the afternoon.
McLaughlin said they were never sure if the suspect was inside but were proceeding with caution in the light of his elusive behavior the night before. It was unclear how he might have gotten from Frisco to Silverthorne without his car, he said.
By 5:50 p.m., it was clear that the tip was wrong — the man was not inside the Quality Inn and remained at large. Police said they would continue to investigate.
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A former Vail resident who rammed a police officer’s car in Snowmass Canyon nearly two years ago while on cocaine and methamphetamines will spend the next five years on supervised probation.