Man steals SUV with boy inside, prompting chase
By SADIE GURMAN
the associated press | March 13,2014
In this video image from CBS-4 TV Denver, Ryan Stone, 29, runs from a stolen (silver) car after causing a crash in Lone Tree, Colo., Wednesday. Stone, suspected of stealing an SUV with a 4-year-old boy inside, carjacking two other vehicles and seriously injuring a state trooper was arrested Wednesday.
LONE TREE, Colo. — A dramatic car chase that crisscrossed the Denver area during the Wednesday morning commute started when a man stole an SUV with a 4-year-old boy inside and ended after he carjacked two other vehicles and struck a state trooper.
Ryan Stone, a 28-year-old wanted in a drug case, covered about 75 miles before he caused a multi-vehicle crash at an intersection in Lone Tree, south of Denver. He then ran across a parking lot before appearing to give up, lying face-down in the snow as officers pinned him to the ground.
Police say the boy, Allan Chavarria-Rodriguez, was found unharmed after Stone abandoned the SUV. The boy told the Longmont Times-Call that the roughly hour-long ride was fast, and he cried but didn’t speak to Stone as he drove.
Also during the chase, Stone struck a state trooper who was putting down stop sticks in a failed effort to capture him, authorities said. It’s unclear if Stone was trying to avoid the stop sticks when he hit the trooper, or if he deliberately ran over him. The trooper, Bellamann Hee, an eight-year-veteran of the department, was hospitalized in serious condition.
No one else was injured during the ordeal, which was televised live and for a time included the suspect driving the wrong way on a highway.
“This is a strange and crazy morning in Colorado,” Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said.
Stone, who has an extensive criminal record, was taken to a hospital, in part to see whether he was high or drunk, police said.
Authorities said it appeared at one point he threw something from one of the cars. Police were searching for any weapons he might have had.
Longmont Police Department spokesman Jeff Satur said a warrant was issued for Stone after he failed to appear in court earlier this month on a “dangerous drug” charge. Stone’s girlfriend was stopped in an apparently stolen car in Longmont on Tuesday night, but Stone wasn’t with her, he said. Police determined Stone was suspected of stealing the vehicle she was driving.
Stone was “definitely running like a person who did not want to go back to jail,” Satur said.
The chase began when Stone stole the sport utility vehicle with the child inside at a gas station in Longmont, north of Denver, police said.
The boy’s mother went into the store, leaving the vehicle with the boy in it, and the suspect jumped in. He sped south on Interstate 70, where a State Patrol officer spotted the vehicle, Satur said.
Soon after the SUV was taken, television helicopters spotted a speeding vehicle matching its description. After about a half-hour, Stone stopped and carjacked a minivan and took off in the wrong direction on a highway.
Later, after apparently losing a tire on the minivan, he sideswiped a sedan, got out of the minivan and dragged the driver from the sedan. He drove off in the car and soon after, caused the crash at an intersection.
Stone then took off on foot, crossing a parking lot and running so wildly he lost his jacket. He struggled to jump a fence before police caught him.
Police at times chased Stone but for the most part tracked him from a distance.