Deputy hit by vehicle; suspect later wrecks car
By By EMILY MORRIS The Daily Sentinel
Saturday, June 03, 2006
The car chase for a man thought to have injured a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputy ended in a rollover accident near Rifle on Interstate 70 Friday afternoon.
Deputy Joe Crawford and another deputy were conducting a follow-up investigation at Alpha Pawn Shop, 2922 North Ave., when Crawford recognized a customer, Richard Cook, 29, who was wanted for questioning in relation to an armed robbery involving a knife, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
When deputies tried to contact Cook, he jumped into his vehicle and sped off with his passenger Marchilena Greenburg, 34, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
According to a witness, Crawford had the door to Cook’s vehicle open when Cook started his car, threw it in reverse and hit the accelerator, striking another vehicle and throwing Crawford to the ground.
Officers soon spotted Cook’s car in the area of 32 Road and the Interstate 70 Business Loop. He refused to stop and started heading eastbound on I-70, according to the Sheriff’s Department. A pursuit ensued and continued to Garfield County. Cook’s speed at times exceeded 100 mph, deputies said.
“Both occupants called dispatch at one point (during the chase), and both claimed they were fearful that if they pulled over, they would be harmed by deputies,” Sgt. Matt Lewis said. “They were told by dispatch, and they were also patched over to the shift commander, and told if they stopped the car they would not be harmed. They refused to do so.”
At one point, law enforcement tried to stop Cook’s vehicle with tire puncturing techniques, but he swerved into the median. Cook’s vehicle eventually crashed near I-70 mile marker 91 and rolled.
Cook was taken to the hospital in Rifle, then was transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the accident. Charges are pending, and his condition is unknown.
Greenburg was treated at the scene and arrested for an outstanding parole violation warrant, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Crawford was taken to the hospital and released.