Snowmass man arrested in Glenwood after high-speed pursuit
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Police were surprised that the driver who crashed his sport-utility vehicle into a parked car Sunday night following a high-speed pursuit with Glenwood Springs Police sustained only minor injuries.
Authorities were also glad no one else was injured in the ordeal.
Robert Lee Larsen, 29, of Snowmass Village, was arrested for multiple charges after the 2006 Toyota Highlander he was driving T-boned another car at the intersection of Seventh Street and Blake Avenue, after allegedly fleeing from police.
“It was a heck of an ordeal,” said Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson.
Police released information on the case Wednesday. Authorities were notified about 9 p.m. Sunday to be on the lookout for the 2006 Toyota Highlander that was reported stolen from in front of the post office in Carbondale.
Wilson said police received a call from a concerned motorist traveling toward Glenwood Springs on Highway 82. The motorist said that a vehicle of the same description was driving recklessly.
The Highlander was spotted by Glenwood police near Grand Avenue and 23rd Street in Glenwood Springs. By the time the Highlander reached Sayre Park, Wilson said, another police cruiser and a Garfield County Sheriff’s deputy had arrived for support.
Then Larsen took off.
Wilson said Larsen turned right onto 14th Street near City Market, then left onto Blake Avenue, where police lost the suspect.
“He immediately accelerated,” Wilson said. “At that point, our officers backed off because they didn’t want to push him.”
Police allege, from witness accounts, that Larsen reached speeds of close to 70 mph on Blake Avenue, blowing through stop signs, until he passed through the Seventh Street intersection where Blake Avenue ends. The Highlander T-boned a white Ford Fusion that was parked on the street.
Wilson said that the Highlander hit the Fusion with so much force that both vehicles ended up near the train tracks nearly 20 feet down an embankment, to the east of the Glenwood Springs depot.
When police arrived, Larsen was still in the driver’s seat of the Highlander, with all airbags deployed. Larsen was taken to Valley View Hospital, where he was treated and released into custody early Monday morning.
“The subject was extremely combative with officers, and with emergency room personnel at the hospital,” Wilson said.
Larsen was booked into the Garfield County jail on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including aggravated first-degree auto theft, vehicular eluding, driving with a revoked license – habitual offender, and criminal mischief.
Larsen was under a court order to not drink alcohol, and investigators later discovered he had at least 10 previous driving restrictions from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Police did not release Larsen’s blood-alcohol content, but Wilson said officers were “astonished” that Larsen was able to make it from Carbondale to Glenwood without crashing.
“It’s amazing that someone was not hurt,” Wilson said.
Larsen appeared in district court and was advised of the charges against him on Tuesday. Formal charges have yet to be filed in the case.
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