by Brian Orr
WALSENBURG- A 14-year-old boy made a terrible mistake last Thursday morning, resulting in his being shot by a Huerfano County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The incident began at approximately 12:30 am, when the youth, after fighting with his parents in their home in Alamosa, stole the family van and took off at high speed eastbound on Highway 160. Alamosa County Sheriff’s officers initially chased the car, with speeds reaching over 100 miles an hour, then decided to not pursue the boy, in order not to endanger him or other drivers. As he passed through Costilla County, officers there, too, gave chase but broke off at the county border.
After he crossed over into Huerfano County, the Colorado State Patrol tried to stop him by Lathrop State Park by setting out spiked speed sticks to puncture the car’s tires, but he swerved around them and continued into Walsenburg.
Huerfano Sheriff Deputies Hank Martin and Ray Walsh set up a roadblock at Main St and 5th, at approximately 1:50 am, to box him in.
When the youth got into the intersection, he rammed one patrol car three times and the other patrol car twice, trying to get past the roadblock. At that point, Martin fired eight shots into the van’s two right-side tires. Walsh, on the driver’s side, fired five shots, hitting the youth once. The bullet passed through him without striking any major organs. That ended the chase.
The youth was transported to SPRHC, then flight-for-lifed out to Pueblo.
He is facing several felony charges, but because the incident spanned three counties, (Alamosa, Costilla and Huerfano, that are in separate judicial districts) District Attorney Frank Ruybalid said he will have to discuss the case with 12th Judicial District, District Attorney David Mahonee to determine where the teen will be charged.