Police: High-speed chase led to arrest of suspected Aspen marijuana-shop robber
A 21-year-old man who police say robbed an Aspen marijuana dispensary Tuesday led officers in St. Louis on a high-speed chase Wednesday night when they tried to pull him over, according to a statement.
Hayden May, driving a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe stolen from an East Aspen neighborhood, didn’t stop until he crashed head-on into a police car, then refused to exit his vehicle until police shattered the driver’s side window with a baton, the statement from the St. Louis County Police Department says. The police officer in the car hit head-on was treated at a local hospital for a possible neck injury.
May will face charges in St. Louis, though their exact nature is not yet clear. However, it will likely be a relatively lengthy period of time before he returns to Aspen to face felony armed robbery, felony theft and other charges for the pot shop robbery and thefts, said Blair Flickinger, Aspen police spokeswoman.
May allegedly entered Stash marijuana dispensary, 710 E. Durant Ave., about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, waited for other customers to leave, then pulled out a hammer, apologized to two employees for being “desperate,” and loaded several jars of marijuana worth $11,000 into a garbage bag and fled, according to police and the shop’s owner.
Aspen police searched for him on the east end of town and communicated with his family members in an effort to get him to turn himself in by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Both efforts, however, failed and police issued a warrant for his arrest.
He was last seen about 3 a.m. Wednesday near Difficult Campground east of Aspen, police said.
Then, at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, the black Tahoe with Colorado license plates was spotted heading east on Interstate 70 west of St. Louis near the town of St. Charles, according to the statement from St. Louis Police. He was found using cellphone tracking, according to Aspen Police.
Officers pulled him over west of the intersection of I-70 and I-170 — just south of Ferguson, Mo. — and ordered him out of the car, the statement says.
May declined to exit the Tahoe, then took off at a high rate of speed, and headed south on I-170, where he drove as fast as 100 mph as police gave chase. He drove several miles on the interstate before exiting and heading southeast down city streets near the city of Pagedale, including getting caught in a dead-end street and turning around again, the St. Louis Police statement says.
After that, May struck a parked car, then drove straight toward a police car from the city of Edmundson and hit it head-on before running into an electrical pole and finally stopping, according to the statement.
Officers commanded May to exit the vehicle, though he again declined. An officer then used his police baton to smash the driver’s side window and ordered May out. This time he complied and was arrested without further incident and was not injured, according to the statement.
St. Louis police were advised that May might have been armed with a .45-caliber handgun, though Aspen police said Thursday the gun was not recovered after May was arrested. May was named as a suspect in a firearm theft reported Wednesday to the Snowmass Village Police Department, Aspen police said in a statement.
The Chevrolet Tahoe was stolen from the McSkimming neighborhood east of Aspen and belonged to May’s former employer, according to Aspen police.
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A longtime local taxi driver was cited for DUI and having an open container of alcohol in his cab after hitting another vehicle head-on Saturday night near Aspen.