by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG— The cross country chase of three Florida fugitives ended in Walsenburg, Colorado, at around 10 am, Wed. Aug 10. The white sedan, pursued by at least seven Colorado State Patrol cars as well as at least three local law enforcement officers’ cars, was headed southbound on Interstate 25 north of Walsenburg, when the fugitives swerved to avoid spiked stop sticks law enforcement had laid out near exit 52.
The vehicle, with 21-year-old Ryan Dougherty, 26-year-old Dylan Dougherty Stanley and 29-year-old Lee Grace Dougherty spun out of control to avoid the sticks and ended up crashing on the guard rail of an entrance ramp onto I-25.
Two of the fugitives, including the female, Lee Dougherty and one of the males were injured in the crash. One of the men bailed from the vehicle and fled the scene on foot, running a quarter mile across an adjacent highway and into an arroyo. Law enforcement officers pursued the fugitive on foot and apprehended him in the arroyo. It is unclear whether they fired on the suspect or if he had been injured in the wreck, but he ended up on the ground. All three fugitives were taken to the local hospital. Their conditions are unknown at this time.
The manhunt for the Doughertys began on Aug. 2, after a Florida officer attempted to pull a car over for speeding northeast of Tampa, Fla. A highspeed chase began with speeds approaching 100 mph, with at least two people in the fleeing vehicle firing off at least 20 or more gunshots at Florida law enforcement officers. A front tire in the pursuing officer’s vehicle was shot out and the suspects got away.
A short while later the same day, three people wearing masks entered a bank in Valdosta, Ga., with one brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle. After taking money and firing their weapons into the ceiling of the bank the suspects fled cross country in a white sedan similar to the vehicle in the Florida chase. Tracing background checks run by gun sellers confirmed that Ryan Dougherty bought an AK-47 assault rifle at a pawn shop two years ago.
Details are still sketchy as the event is still unfolding at presstime. Go to the Huerfano Journal Facebook page and our website, www.HuerfanoWorldJournal.com for details.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward