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Monday car chase ends in arrest

Posted: Thursday, Feb 3rd, 2011

ALAMOSA — An off-duty deputy’s trip to the grocery store Monday afternoon resulted in a city-wide pursuit of a hit and run driver and ended with the arrest of an Alamosa man.

Antonio Carlos Gutierrez, 25, was arrested for alleged attempted vehicular assault and menacing, both felonies, and misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, two counts of child abuse, driving under the influence of alcohol, hit and run with damage, and reckless driving.

Monday afternoon a car driven by Gutierrez allegedly ran into Alamosa County Sheriff Deputy Rod Payne’s parked vehicle.

Witnesses called 911 then took off after Gutierrez.

The Alamosa Police Department patrolmen were deployed three ways: To the location of the hit and run car, which had stopped at Second and Poncha and was surrounded by the original pursuit vehicles; to the residence registered to the car’s license plate number; and to the grocery store parking lot to interview Payne.

The patrolmen had varying results. Gutierrez stopped at Second and Poncha, but then put his car in reverse to ram the vehicle parked behind him, then left the vicinity. He was gone when the APD officers arrived at Second and Poncha.

The patrolmen assigned to the driver’s residence found Gutierrez had not returned home.

But Alamosa Police Patrolman Chuck Kelley hit pay dirt. He was at the Safeway parking lot interviewing Payne when they saw Gutierrez driving around the middle of the lot.

Payne ran toward Gutierrez’ car, waving his arms to get him to stop, when Gutierrez allegedly tried to run Payne over.

Gutierrez left the parking lot and started driving in and out of the gas bays at the Safeway gas station.

Kelley was able to stop the vehicle in one of the gas bays by blocking it with his patrol car.

Alamosa Police Lieutenant Duane Oakes and Acting Alamosa Police Chief Robert Jackson arrived on the scene, and made an unsettling discovery: There were two young children in the back seat.

“The oldest was about two or three years old and was securely strapped into a car seat,” Jackson said. “The youngest, an infant about six months old, was strapped into an infant seat but the infant seat had not been secured to the car seat. The baby’s seat had fallen off the car seat and was upside down.”

Jackson said both children seemed to be fine. On the advice of social services the two children were turned over to their mother.

Gutierrez is in custody at the Alamosa County Detention Center.

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