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He stole a patrol vehicle, officials say — then responded to an emergency


Officers said Jeremiah James Taylor was joyriding in a stolen sheriff’s patrol vehicle early Monday when a domestic violence call from a neighboring county came over the radio system. Taylor, 33, decided to go to the scene, officials said — and he was the first to arrive.

Minutes later, Teller County, Colo., sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home and walked up the driveway to find a damaged Park County patrol vehicle. Taylor was behind the wheel, officers said, and was refusing to get out.

He then allegedly sped away, evading the Teller County deputies that trailed him.

What followed was a high-speed chase, crash and pursuit on foot, officers said. Taylor was arrested and faces at least eight charges, including aggravated motor vehicle theft, impersonating a peace officer, resisting arrest, reckless driving and burglary, according to a news release from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office.

As of early Thursday, Taylor remained in county jail. Court records do not list an attorney.

Held at gunpoint behind the wheel, a driver sped to alert officers

Taylor allegedly broke into a Park County Sheriff’s Office substation after 3 a.m. and stole a marked patrol vehicle. Sheriff Tom McGraw told KDVR that the facility was unstaffed that night, a consequence of personnel shortages. In March, McGraw said he had to cut overnight patrols because he was down to eight deputies in a county — west of Colorado Springs — of about 18,000 people. Now, two deputies are on call every night and respond only to emergencies, leaving most callers to wait one to two hours for a response, KDVR reported.

Taylor heard the domestic violence call for Teller County when it came through the law enforcement radio system around 3:27 a.m., according to the news release. After Taylor arrived at the home, siren blazing, the residents called Teller County dispatch to say that a Park County deputy had arrived in a damaged vehicle and “appeared intoxicated,” an arrest report said.

Teller County sheriff’s deputies arrived about 10 minutes later and said they encountered Taylor as he was driving the patrol vehicle down the driveway.

“The vehicle stopped and I gave several verbal commands to turn the vehicle off and step out,” an officer wrote in the report.

Taylor allegedly ignored the deputies and sped away.

Officers spotted the patrol vehicle about two hours later “and a pursuit ensued involving both Teller and Park County Deputies,” the news release said. Driving over 110 mph, Taylor swerved through lanes and ignored traffic signs, officers said, before crashing the vehicle and running into the woods.

A drunk driver was headed toward a 10K race, police say. A trooper used her patrol car to protect the runners.

Deputies caught up to Taylor and ordered him to show his hands, the arrest report said. But the officers said he ignored them and pulled out a knife.

“During the confrontation a Taser was deployed and at least one shot was fired by a law enforcement officer,” the Teller County Sheriff’s Office said. “No deputies were injured.”

Taylor was arrested and taken to a hospital “due to self-inflicted knife wounds,” the sheriff’s office added.

Taylor, who was on probation for menacing, theft and driving under the influence, according to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, is also “being investigated for numerous other crimes that were committed in the area shortly before this incident occurred.” His next virtual court appearance is scheduled for Monday.