Chase suspect held on $1 million bond
October 27, 2010
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS – A $1 million bond has been set for a woman who led police in a high speed chase Thursday, Oct. 21, and then shot at them.
Katherine Anggelos, 53, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was arraigned in Grand County Court Monday, Oct. 25, and has been charged with 1st degree attempted murder after being treated for a gunshot wound to the arm at a hospital in Denver over the weekend.
At about 8:35 p.m. Oct. 21, the Kremmling Police Department attempted to stop Anggelos on eastbound U.S. Highway 40 for careless and reckless driving.
According to Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson, Anggelos initially pulled over, but as the Kremmling officer Tom Backer approached the vehicle she allegedly said, “I’m not stopping for you,” and took off.
A pursuit ensued. Traveling more than 19 miles at speeds ranging from 60-85 mph, Anggelos drove east toward Hot Sulphur Springs. The chase lasted about 20 minutes.
Backer radioed ahead and the Granby Police Department and Grand County Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks after the last curve coming into Hot Sulphur and a second set across from the church on the other end of town.
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The Colorado State Patrol, Fraser/Winter Park Police Department and Division of Wildlife also responded.
Stop sticks are hollow tubes that puncture the tire and slowly release air to prevent an accident. Ideally, a law enforcement officer waits off to the side and yanks them off the road after a suspect runs them over so that the pursing vehicles don’t hit them as well, which is what happened in this situation, Johnson said. Anggelos ran over both sets before coming to a stop two miles east of town around mile marker 203.
Johnson wasn’t sure whether Anggelos got out of the car before she started shooting, but according to officers at the scene, she discharged her revolver numerous times and police returned fire, striking her in the left arm.
Nobody else was injured in the incident. One of Anggelos’ shots hit the headlight on a Colorado State Patrol trooper’s vehicle.
The gunfight ended quickly, but it was another hour before police took Anggelos into custody, Johnson said.
“She wouldn’t answer anybody.” Johnson said. “We tried all kinds of things, even loud speakers. But she didn’t respond. Nobody approached the vehicle. We formulated a plan that included tear gas.”
Once the tear gas was deployed Anggelos became verbal again, Johnson said, and she was taken into custody around 10 p.m.
She was transported to Granby Medical Center where blood was drawn for a toxicology screen and she was treated for wounds on her arm. She was then transported to Denver, accompanied by a Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy, where she may have undergone surgery on her arm, Johnson said.
Johnson said he has no idea of the motive, but added that Anggelos told officers that she didn’t believe they were real law enforcement.
She doesn’t have a criminal record, Johnson added, and not much is known about her background.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate, which is standard whenever a high use of force is involved and which is also why the sheriff’s office lacks some details on the incident. All the law enforcement reports were given directly to CBI.
U.S. 40 between Granby and Hot Sulphur was closed overnight as the incident was investigated.
Johnson said this was “probably the best case scenario for this situation,” given that no law enforcement officers or innocent citizens were injured and that the suspect was taken into custody with only an injury to the arm.
“In the last five years we’ve had an awful lot of these incidents, Johnson said, mentioning the McCormick murder/suicide in April 2010, the Dalgarn shooting in 2008, the Brian Wilson standoff in 2007 and a 40-mile high-speed chase in 2005 among others.
“It seems like an oddity for this area,” Johnson said, adding that it may have something to do with Grand County’s proximity to the Front Range. Park County has similar problems, he said: “Park County can be compared to us in type of people and population and proximity to the Front Range. And I think they just had another incident like this last week.”
Johnson added that, given the high number of these incidents, his team as well as other law enforcement agencies in the county have undergone a lot of additional tactical training.
In 2009 he took his deputies to Douglas County for a course on shoot/don’t shoot situations, he said.
“We have chosen over the years to focus our training on those kinds of incidents,” he said.
But overall, he said, crime is down in the county and Colorado as a whole.
“Because of the economy, a lot people that were here for the construction industry had to leave,” he said. “That age bracket, the 18- to 35-year-old males, tend to have the most fun. But, they are also the most likely to be involved in low level theft, drug possession and DUIs, and that’s down 10 percent from its peak in 2006-2007.”
– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or email@example.com.