Costilla County man allegedly goes on tractor rampage, lights house on fire and injures police officers before arrest
SAN LUIS, Colo. (KKTV) - A man is in law enforcement custody following a wild series of events involving a tractor, two injured officers, a house fire, and multiple damaged vehicles Wednesday night.
The suspect now faces at least 11 different charges including multiple counts of attempted murder on a peace officer, arson, aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
The incident started at 6 p.m. near San Luis and carried on into the wee hours of Thursday morning, the Costilla County sheriff told 11 News. Suspect Cimmarron Mathes, 30, was taken into custody by SWAT at 1 a.m.
According to Sheriff Danny Sanchez, the incident started when authorities were advised of a disturbance on County Road P. A man was reportedly armed with a knife. When authorities got to the area, the sheriff says Mathes stole a tractor and began running over vehicles on his father’s property. Multiple law enforcement agencies were called to assist. Mathes allegedly drove off the property at some point and rammed into a Blanca Police Department cruiser on County Road P. Blanca Police Chief Ricky Rodriguez and Officer Josh Sanchez were in the vehicle.
“Both officers were checked by Costilla County Medical Units on scene and suffered minor injuries,” Sanchez said.
At about 9:45 p.m., Mathes ran into his father’s home -- after ramming it with the tractor. His father had been in the home at some point during episode but was able to escape.
“After he did his rampage with the tractor, he got into the house and was attempting to light the house on fire. Deputies were watching through the windows,” Sanchez said. “He eventually towards the end did light the house on fire and it did burn down.”
As the fire began spreading in the house, Sanchez said SWAT deployed tear gas and was finally able to get Mathes out. He was taken into custody at 1 a.m.
When 11 News called the sheriff’s office to ask about a mugshot, we were they were waiting until more people were in the office to take him out of his cell since he was securely locked down.
Along with the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office and the Blanca Police Department, the Alamosa SWAT team assisted with the incident.
The property is located about 30 minutes from the New Mexico state line.
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