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High-speed chase comes through Bayfield
7/7/2008 By: Carole McWilliams
A robbery suspect was arrested Monday afternoon after a high speed chase on Highway 160 from Durango, through Bayfield, to Pagosa Springs.
Police cars trailed the suspect who was in a bright yellow 2002 Ford Mustang at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The suspect passed a car on the Florida River bridge, squeezing between that car and a westbound vehicle from Bayfield.
The suspect dodged tire spikes put out by Bayfield Marshal’s Deputy Gary Maestas at the east end of County Road 223. Bayfield Marshal Jim Harrington was in Gem Village stopping traffic when the Mustang sped by. It went through Bayfield around 3:30 p.m.
It dodged another set of spikes put out by the Colorado State Patrol near the La Plata/ Archuleta County line.
CSP Trooper Doug Wiersma reported that law enforcement closed westbound 160 near Pagosa Springs as the pursuit approached.
At around 4 p.m., Archuleta County Sheriff’s deputies and Pagosa police put out another tire spike strip near Trails Blvd. The suspect lost control trying to avoid it.
The Mustang slid sideways across the westbound lanes of 160, went off the north side of the highway and collided with a 1996 Ford pickup stopped at the Trails Blvd. stop sign.
The suspect, 50-yea-old Brian Keith Kuykendall, was arrested after a brief scuffle with police and deputies. He was treated for minor injuries at Pagosa Mountain Hospital and then taken to the La Plata County Jail.
The pickup driver, Todd Pitcher of Pagosa Springs, was not injured.
The whole thing started when a man robbed the Best Western Motel on Hwy 160 just west of Durango. Central Dispatch got the call at 3:12 p.m.
DPD reported that witnesses described a male suspect leaving the scene in a bright yellow Mustang with California license plates. The suspect left with an undetermined amount of money.
A Durango officer spotted a car matching the witnesses’ description traveling south in approximately the 700 block of South Camino Del Rio (Durango Mall area).
Capt. Micki Browning told the Times that they didn’t turn on their patrol car lights until after they passed under the new bridge at the bottom of Grandview Hill.
When additional officers arrived in the area, they tried to stop the Mustang near the entrance to Three Springs Boulevard. The vehicle failed to stop and active pursuit began.
Durango Sgt. Robert Taylor said he was part of the pursuit from there until he blew a tire about eight miles to the east. A couple of other Durango police cars and a sheriff’s car also were in the chase. During that time speeds got up around 100 mph, he said. Kuykendall ran a red light at Elmores Corner.
Officers from the La Plata County Sheriff’s Department and the Colorado State Patrol joined in the pursuit. Durango officers broke off pursuit just west of Bayfield after sheriff’s and State Patrol deputies took over, Browning said.
Browning said the Mustang was registered to Kuykendall in California. He had a drivers license address of Woodward, Okla. Taylor said the Mustang was packed full of belongings, and Kuykendall seemed to be living out of the car as a transient.
Browning said he faces a charge of aggravated robbery, meaning there was a weapon of some kind used. Taylor said the District Attorney probably will file other charges related to the pursuit.
Neither Browning nor Taylor knew whether Kuykendall has a prior criminal record.
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