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Huerfano deputies busy with hard drug cases

by Eric Mullens

WALSENBURG — There’s always enough work for sheriff’s deputies when it comes to the war on hard drugs in Huerfano County, including cases that broke this week that highlight the incursion of hard drug use by those who travel through the Spanish Peaks region.

On Tuesday morning at about 5:30, the county emergency dispatch center received a call from a motorist who said they had been attacked after they had allegedly stopped to rest between the 57 and 54 mile markers south bound on Interstate 25.

Huerfano Sheriff Bruce Newman said the couple in the vehicle reported a black male had “jumped out of the bushes” and stabbed the female occupant of the vehicle. Deputies and Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center EMTs/Ambulance rushed to the scene and did find an unidentified woman who appeared to be suffering from non-life-threatening cuts. The woman was transported to SPRHC’s emergency room and was treated and later in the morning picked up by her family members.

The male party in the vehicle, Ruben Hernandez, 27, of Colorado Springs, who reportedly admitted to law enforcement he had been smoking meth, was detained and later transported to the emergency room for medical clearance before being booked into jail. Sheriff Newman said both individuals were highly intoxicated on narcotics when contacted. There was no evidence of a third party attack as the couple had stated in their 911 call.

Newman said Hernandez was combative throughout his initial contact with law enforcement, but had settled down somewhat after the ER visit at approximately 8:30 am Tuesday. That calmer state of mind didn’t last long however. When Hernandez was being transported back to the sheriff’s office, although handcuffed in a patrol vehicle, he somehow managed to roll down the backseat window and attempted to escape. Newman said he had not see the full reports of the incident, which was covered by graveyard shift deputies, but said Hernandez did successfully get out the vehicle on West Seventh St. near Walsenburg Wild Waters.

Hernandez reportedly ran east bound on Seventh St., for “a couple of blocks” before he was captured. Newman said the subject remained combative with deputies and destroyed some county property when he was locked up in the jail. Hernandez has been initially charged (arrest charges) for second degree assault on a peace officer and the investigation is ongoing into the injuries suffered by his female companion and other potential charges.

The vehicle the couple were in has been seized and towed to a secure facility as deputies prepare a search warrant for its contents.