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Walsenburg last stop for fugitives – again

WALSENBURG — Investigation into a Walsen Avenue car crash that happened around 6:30 pm Tuesday led to an overnight search and eventual arrest of two adults and one juvenile male wanted on warrants from El Paso County. Elements of the WPD, HCSO, and the Colorado State Patrol worked together to apprehend all three suspects Wednesday morning. Nathaniel Flavio Gonzales, 20, was arrested by Sheriff’s Deputy Christy Dever and WPD Officer Josh Berzanji between 12:30 and 1 am Wednesday as he was walking northbound on I-25 near MM 56. “This showed amazing cooperation between agencies,” said WPD Chief Tommie McLallen. Approximately 6:30 Wednesday morning, dispatch received information about two males wearing ‘hoodies’ walking northbound on the Interstate. Chief McLallen, Captain Vince Suarez, Officer Berzanji, Cpl. Joe Deatherage and Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman contacted the pair and soon identified them as 20-year old Gino Patrick Rael and a 16-year old wanted male juvenile. Rael and Gonzales have active felony burglary warrants and the juvenile had a warrant for failure to comply and may also face local charges of criminal impersonation. Charges associated with the traffic accident may also be filed locally. Police search dogs were deployed by the WPD and the CSP during the overnight search after the three fled the crash site. Detectives from El Paso County were enroute to Walsenburg Wednesday to continue their investigation. All three suspects were checked by medical staff for exposure and Gonzales was treated for minor injuries sustained in the crash. McLallen said a possible pistol magazine and live ammunition were in plain sight in the crashed vehicle and a search warrant for the vehicle was being applied for on Wednesday.

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