3 arrested after eluding deputies and ramming into patrol vehicle

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV)- Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies arrested three people Friday night in Pueblo West following a short vehicle pursuit that ended with the suspect vehicle ramming into a patrol car.

Deputies responded to the area of the Sonic Drive-In, 69 S. Dunlap Drive, at about 5:25 p.m. after an individual reported the occupants of a white vehicle parked in a spot at the restaurant were acting suspicious. The sheriff's office says witnesses reported seeing the occupants rummaging through items that appeared to be stolen goods that were in the trunk of the vehicle.

While en route to the call, a deputy reportedly saw a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot, 78 N. McCulloch Blvd., that matched the description of the suspicious vehicle.

As the deputy drove up to the vehicle, which had three occupants, the driver drove off and went out of the parking lot going east on Industrial Boulevard. The deputy followed the vehicle, which was reportedly driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed, and attempted to stop it.

The driver refused to stop and turned into a parking lot in the 700 block of East Industrial Boulevard.

Deputies followed the vehicle to the parking lot. A deputy blocked the exit of the lot with his vehicle to prevent the driver from leaving.

The driver was later identified as Austin Chavez, 23. Investigators say Chavez attempted to drive out of the parking lot and rammed into the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle. He then reportedly got out of the car and ran but was captured a short time later. No one was injured in the incident.

The two passengers were identified as Ray Bachicha, 23, and Janelle Vasquez, 22. They stayed in the vehicle and were immediately taken into custody.

While doing a routine pat search of Vasquez after she was arrested, deputies found suspected drugs in her possession. Chavez told deputies that he was following directions and orders from Bachicha and that is why he did not stop for deputies.

Chavez was arrested for assault on a peace officer, vehicular eluding and reckless driving. Bachicha was arrested for complicity to commit second-degree assault on a peace officer, complicity to commit vehicular eluding, criminal solicitation to commit vehicular eluding and criminal solicitation to commit second-degree assault. Vasquez was arrested for complicity to commit second-degree assault on a peace officer, complicity to commit vehicular eluding, introduction of contraband and possession of contraband. Chavez, Bachicha and Vasquez were all booked into Pueblo County Jail.

Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor credits the calling in of suspicious activity by an alert citizen as the reason his deputies were able to apprehend these three suspects so quickly.

The investigation is ongoing.