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Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

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February 12, 2018
Deputies Rescue Man Lost Near Lake Pueblo in Freezing Temperatures

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies with assistance from Sheriff’s Communication Officers were able to locate and rescue a 50-year-old Pueblo man who was wandering lost in the bitter cold early Sunday morning after crashing his vehicle into the icy waters of Lake Pueblo.

Deputies were sent to the area of Highway 96 West near the South Wildlife entrance to Lake Pueblo State Park at about 12:10 a.m. to assist the Colorado State Patrol in searching for the lost man. The man called for help after becoming disoriented while searching for his dog after he said the animal was swept away in the frigid waters of the Arkansas River.

The man said he was driving in the area of Lake Pueblo State Park when he crashed his Jeep Cherokee into the reservoir. The man said he was able to get out of his submerged vehicle and that’s when he saw his dog floating down the river. The man said he followed along the river trying to rescue the dog but was unsuccessful. He said that’s when he realized he was lost and called for help.

Sheriff’s Communication Officers attempted several times to call the man to pinpoint his location but were unsuccessful. A deputy was able to send the victim a text message and the man called the deputy telling him he was somewhere south of the reservoir near the river, before the call was disconnected.

Sheriff’s Communication Officers were able to regain telephone communication with the man just long enough to determine his location and direct deputies to the area. The man was found by deputies walking in 14-degree temperature approximately two miles from Highway 96. His clothes were wet and frozen but he did not suffer any serious injuries. The man was transported by in a sheriff’s patrol vehicle to the highway where he was treated by AMR personnel and released to a family member.

Deputies and Colorado State Parks Rangers returned to the area of the accident later Sunday and searched several hours for the dog. The dog was located unharmed inside the man’s vehicle when a tow truck driver removed the vehicle from the accident site.

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February 11, 2018
Three Arrested after Eluding Deputies, Ramming into Patrol Vehicle

 

Austin Chavez Ray Bachicha Janelle Vasquez

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested three people Friday night in Pueblo West following an incident that involved a short vehicle pursuit that ended with the suspect vehicle ramming into a patrol car.

Deputies responded to the area of the Sonic Drive-In, 69 S. Dunlap Drive, at about 5:25 p.m. after an individual reported the occupants of a white vehicle parked in spot at the restaurant were acting suspicious. The witness reported seeing the occupants rummaging through items that appeared to be stolen goods that were in the trunk of the vehicle.

While en route to the call, a deputy saw a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot, 78 N. McCulloch Blvd. that matched the description of the suspicious vehicle. As the deputy drove up to the vehicle, which had three occupants, the driver drove off and went out of the parking lot going east on Industrial Boulevard. The deputy followed the vehicle, which was reportedly driving recklessly and at a high-rate of speed, and attempted to stop it. The driver refused to stop and turned into a parking lot in the 700 block of East Industrial Boulevard.

Deputies followed the vehicle to the parking lot. A deputy blocked the exit of the lot with his vehicle to prevent the driver, later identified as Austin Chavez, 23, from leaving. Chavez attempted to drive out of the parking lot and rammed into the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle. Chavez then got out of the car and ran but was apprehended a short time later. No one was injured in the incident.

The two passengers identified as Ray Bachicha, 23; and Janelle Vasquez, 22, remained in the vehicle and were immediately taken into custody. While doing a routine pat search of Vasquez after she was arrested, deputies found suspected drugs in her possession. Chavez told deputies that he was following directions and orders from Bachicha and that is why he did not stop for deputies.

Chavez was arrested for assault on a peace officer, vehicular eluding and reckless driving. Bachicha was arrested for complicity to commit second-degree assault on a peace officer, complicity to commit vehicular eluding, criminal solicitation to commit vehicular eluding and criminal solicitation to commit second-degree assault. Vasquez was arrested for complicity to commit second-degree assault on a peace officer, complicity to commit vehicular eluding, introduction of contraband and possession of contraband. Chavez, Bachicha and Vasquez were all booked into Pueblo County Jail.

Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor credits the calling in of suspicious activity by an alert citizen as the reason his deputies were able to apprehend these three suspects so quickly.

An investigation is ongoing.

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February 9, 2018
Sheriff’s Office Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 911 with Launch of New Program

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the 911 emergency number, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor is pleased to announce the implementation of Text-to-911 at the Pueblo County 911 Center. The new service gives individuals in need an alternative way to connect with a 911 Communication Officer during an emergency.

Citizens and guests who are anywhere outside the city limits of Pueblo are now able to text a message directly to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office communication center. While calling is typically the best way to communicate with 911, there are instances when texting is a better option. Texting is often preferred for those with access and functional needs. The system also has benefitted victims in situations where silence is needed for their safety, such as with domestic violence or kidnapping.

The Sheriff’s Office 911 center is the answering point for several rural locations where a cell phone signal is too weak to send a voice call. The Text-to-911 availability provides for messages to be exchanged easily when there is a weaker signal. This new feature now allows for emergency communication to occur from remote and mountain locations in Pueblo County, which had not existed in the past.

Our communications center offers these tips when using the Text-to-911 feature:
• Texts should be simple and concise and should not include abbreviations.
• It will continue to be important to pay close attention to what the 911 operator is asking and answer quickly.
• Individuals will need to provide an address or location early in the exchange.
• Photos and video exchange is not supported by the system.
• And most importantly citizens are urged to CALL WHEN THEY CAN, TEXT WHEN THEY MUST.

The Text to 911 service is paid for with Pueblo County Emergency Telephone Authority surcharge funds.

February 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time the three-digit national emergency number was used. The first 911 call was made February 16, 1968, in Alabama.

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February 1, 2018
Alert Citizens Aid Deputies in Locating Suspects in Stolen Vehicle

Franklin Pangelina Alix Trujillo

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two people this afternoon in connection with a stolen vehicle after two alert witnesses notified authorities of the vehicle’s whereabouts.

Deputies were dispatched at 12:15 p.m. to Walmart, 78 N. McCulloch Boulevard, after a citizen said he saw a 2002 GMC Envoy he recognized as being reported stolen in Pueblo this morning. The witness reported seeing the vehicle parked in the lot with a male attempting to remove a sticker from the vehicle window.

When deputies arrived, they saw the man, later identified as Franklin Pangelina, 26, and a woman, identified as Alix Trujillo, 22, sitting in the vehicle. Two deputies attempted to block the suspect vehicle in with their patrol cars when Pangelina put the Envoy in reverse and rammed a patrol car before driving out of the lot. The deputy was uninjured.

Pangelina drove eastbound on Industrial Boulevard, where deputies responding to the incident saw the vehicle and attempted to stop it. Pangelina failed to stop and continued driving at a high rate of speed. Deputies ended the pursuit as Pangelina approached U.S. Highway 50. The vehicle was last seen going eastbound on U.S. 50 toward Pueblo.

Another citizen, who reported seeing a GMC Envoy driving erratically, followed it into Pueblo and alerted law enforcement of its whereabouts. The witness saw the vehicle stop near the intersection of 29th Street and Baltimore Avenue, where a man and a woman got out and ran.

A short time later, deputies apprehended Trujillo in the area where the vehicle was abandoned. Deputies patrolling nearby apprehended Pangelina a few blocks away. Both suspects were taken into custody.

Pangelina was arrested for second-degree motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, reckless driving, a protection order violation and several felony warrants. Trujillo was arrested for second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance. Both Pangelina and Trujillo were booked into Pueblo County Jail.

 

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January 31, 2018
Sheriff Honors Outstanding Employees, Citizens at Annual Banquet
awards

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor honored several employees, units and local citizens for outstanding service and dedication to the office during the past year at the 12th annual Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet held Friday night at Pueblo Community College.

“I am proud of the outstanding effort all our employees put forth each day for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “But tonight I want to recognize several of our exceptional employees, who have demonstrated through their character, professionalism and actions, a commitment to our motto “Service Over Self.” I am also proud to honor several remarkable citizens, who through their willingness to take action, help make Pueblo County a better place to live.”

Sheriff Taylor presented the following awards Friday night:

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year: Lieutenant David Black, a veteran patrol deputy, was honored for his concern for the well-being of his deputies, detention staff and citizens of Pueblo County. He was noted for instilling a caring attitude toward both patrol and detention deputies. Lt. Black can routinely be found at the jail developing rapport with the leadership and a comradery with the deputies. His service to the public is described as respectful and compassionate, evidence of his action last year by standing at attention to honor a war veteran as his body was carried off by the coroner.

Detention Officer of the Year: Sergeant Jeremy Cardona is honored as a “true professional” for his ability to have a positive impact on everyone he interacts with. Cardona was recognized for having a strong work ethic, being thorough, dependable and a respected mentor and trainer for new detention deputies. Cardona is a talented artist who annually creates holiday artwork in the jail for the enjoyment of employees and inmates alike.

Emergency Services Member of the Year: Jamie Reigenborn is a veteran communications officer in the Pueblo County Sheriff’s 911 Communication Center. She was noted for being reliable, calm, focused and dedicated to her duties. Reigenborn is a great at multi-tasking and is the person to trust for timely and accurate information during an incident or emergency.

Non-Uniformed Member of the Year: Michelle Zamora, a criminal justice records technician is the court liaison in the jail intake, where she has been instrumental in improving the quality of work produced on bonds and other matters related to the courts. She was recognized for dependability, consistently performing her job duties at a high quality and having a strong work ethic.

Volunteer of the Year: Daryl Espinoza, a volunteer with the Emergency Services Bureau, accumulated more than 325 volunteer hours in 2017. In addition to being a member of all the ESB volunteer teams, Espinoza regularly attends trainings, exercises and reports to activations in the Emergency Operations Center. He was noted for being reliable and always willing to help while serving as an inspiration to other volunteers.

Unit Meritorious
Detention Training Officers – The 27 members of the detention training unit are responsible for training new detention deputies and criminal justice record technicians. The eight-week training program consists of more than 320 hours of work in officer safety, facility security, use of force, report writing, communication, time management and policy and procedure. The training officers recognized were: Deputies Anthony Gonzales, Kenneth DeLeon, Michael Chitwood, Lilian Gardner, David Spicer, Michael Wagner, Robert Vigil, Scott Moore, Jacob Bookout, Nicholas Cardinal, Raquel Marquez, Monica Sosa, Rachael Villarreal, Tyler Owens, Christine Spencer, Marisa Singleton, Wellington Duplessis, Sheryld Lamas, Steven Chavez, Michael Gallardo, Raquel Griego, CJRT Craig Espinoza, Wayne Wells, Michelle Arellano, Christopher Duarte, Lalani Valle and Phyllis Montoya.

Investigations Unit – In 2017, the investigations unit continued working two homicide investigations from 2016, including following up on additional leads, executing multiple search warrants and examining hundreds of pages of social media documents. The unit worked shorthanded after losing three key members to promotion, reassignment and retirement, but was still able to maintain a demanding work load to include the investigation of two officer-involved shootings, an in-custody death, a homicide/suicide, a forgery case involving more than 50 victims and many other serious crimes. The members of the unit are Sergeant Mike Beery, Sergeant Allen Brooks, Captain Don Leach, Detectives Anthony Colletti, Talby Velasco, Charles Roldan, JC Williams, Melissa Rohrich, Sergeant Caitlin Howard, Gregory Drake, Victor Herrera, David Butterfield, Neal Robinson, CJRT Julie (Liz) Marez and Administrative Assistant Teri Niederstadt.

Citizens of the Year: Marty Rahl, Dawn Cortese and Brooke Douglas. Rahl and Douglas were recognized for their alertness and willingness to contact the Sheriff’s Office when they noticed suspicious activity. The reporting of the activity assisted Sheriff’s Office in identifying and apprehending criminals in two separate and unrelated incidents. Cortese was honored for her quick-thinking and her actions in saving the life of an individual after a car fell on him.

Sheriff Taylor also awarded several Commendation awards for outstanding service on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office. Those receiving commendation awards were Jill Hogarth and Marco Macaluso; Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz and Captain Shelley Bryant and the administrative team of Shane Ammeter, Christopher Carter, Shawnna Clementi, Corrine Cordova, Shonna Cruz-Gutierrez, Becky Dengler, Lanisha Gomez, Connie Gutierrez, Tammy Hart, Sherri Herrera, Desirae Maldonado, Reyes Martinez, Kathy Mora, Jennifer Morales, JaNyce Neiberger, Ben Parson, Mary Peralta, Gayle Perez, Jennifer Phillips, Ashton Rinker, Yvette Robinson, Victoria Siguenza, Alyssa Uhernik, Kiki Valle, Brenda Vigil, Andrew Ward and Michelle Zamora.

 

 

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Sheriff Awards Medal of Valor to Three Deputies

Robert GarbisoCharles McWhorterCharles Roldan

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor awarded Deputies Robert Garbiso, Charles Roldan and Charles McWhorter with the Medal of Valor at the 12th annual Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet held Friday night at Pueblo Community College.

The Medal of Valor is law enforcement’s highest award and is presented for an act of outstanding bravery or heroism performed with selflessness, courage and devotion to duty.

“The actions of these deputies were truly heroic. They acted without regard for their own safety while protecting their fellow deputies and the citizens of Pueblo County,” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “I am honored and proud to award them with the distinguished Medal of Valor for their exceptional courage, selflessness and dedication to serving this community.”

Deputy Garbiso was praised for his actions on March 3, 2017, to disarm an inmate who had taken a Taser from another deputy during a daring escape attempt at the Pueblo County Jail. Garbiso, who heard the scuffle between the deputy and the inmate, was attempting to stop the escape when the inmate shot him with the Taser. Despite being hit with the Taser prongs, Garbiso still managed to gain control of the inmate and take him into custody. Garbiso’s actions thwarted the escape attempt as well as prevented this inmate from harming other jail personnel or inmates.

Detective Roldan and Deputy McWhorter were recognized for their bravery on the night of August 21, 2017, while attempting to apprehend a bank robbery suspect at a mobile home in Colorado City. Roldan and McWhorter received information the suspect in the robbery of the Ent Credit Union in Rye was at a residence on Applewood Drive. When the two deputies arrived at the home, they were informed the suspect was in a bedroom and both cautiously entered the residence. The deputies made their way to the bedroom where they confronted the suspect, who pulled out a Derringer-type handgun and pointed it at one of the deputies. Both deputies fired their weapon stopping the suspect from harming them, the other residents of the home and citizens of Pueblo County.

A special plaque with photos and the citations highlighting the heroic actions of each of the deputies will be placed permanently in the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Hall of Valor, located on the first floor of the Emergency Services Center, 101 W. 10th Street.

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January 29, 2018
Sheriff’s Office Hosts Annual Polar Plunge to Benefit Special Olympics

Come Plunge!

Are you ready to feel the chill?

The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office is seeking teams of brave individuals willing to take on a chilly challenge and make a dip in the frigid waters of Lake Pueblo for the third annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics of Colorado. The freezing fundraiser is scheduled for 11 a.m. February 17 at the South Shore Marina of Lake Pueblo.

The event, spearheaded by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, involves teams who take on the challenge of jumping into the frigid lake to raise money for Special Olympics. Participating team members raise money through donations and pledges, which allow them to make the icy plunge.

“I’m making the plunge again this year and I challenge other law enforcement agencies and First Responders in the region to join me in supporting our Special Olympics athletes,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor, who is participating in his third Polar Plunge. “This is a fun event that benefits a great cause. Each year it gets bigger and better.”

Since bringing the Polar Plunge to Southern Colorado in 2016, more than 280 people have participated in the event and have raised more than $57,000 for Special Olympics. Last year’s event raised more than $37,000. Organizers are hoping to exceed last year’s total.

Registration is still available for teams and can be done on the Pueblo Polar Plunge website at https://www.classy.org/event/pueblo-polar-plunge-presented-by-westerra-credit-union/e151915.
A fundraising minimum of $75 ($50 for student/athletes) is required for participation. Those who aren’t brave enough or can’t take the plunge are encouraged to sponsor a plunger. Monetary donations can be made on the website. All donations are tax deductible.

The Special Olympics program is the largest sports organization in the world serving more than 4.2 million people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. Using sports as a catalyst, the non-profit program helps enhance the growth for all people who participate.

For more information about the Polar Plunge, contact Captain Dawn Ballas at (719) 583-6408.

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Deputies Arrest Wanted Man; Find Stolen Handgun In Vehicle

David Cole

A 32-year-old man was arrested early this morning after Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies found a stolen handgun inside the vehicle where he was discovered sleeping.

At about 2:25 a.m., a Sheriff’s Sergeant patrolling in the area of westbound U.S. 50 West, just east of Pueblo Boulevard, located a 1991 Honda Accord on the side of the road with the hazard lights on. The deputy approached the vehicle and found a man slumped over the steering wheel sleeping. The deputy noticed the ignition on the vehicle had been altered and called for
backup, believing the vehicle may have been stolen.

Other deputies arrived on scene and were successful in blocking in the vehicle in an attempt to keep the driver from leaving the area. Deputies then woke the driver and gave him verbal orders to get out of the vehicle. The man got out of the vehicle and was placed in handcuffs.

Deputies asked the man for identification and proof of ownership of the vehicle, but he was unable to provide either documentation. Deputies learned the vehicle was registered to an individual from Buena Vista, but it had not been reported stolen. They also learned the man had given deputies a false name. He was later identified as David Roy Cole of Salida, who was wanted on a warrant from Chaffee County.

Cole was arrested for the warrant and as deputies were preparing the vehicle to be towed, they noticed a handgun sticking out between the driver seat and center console of the vehicle. The gun was recovered and found to have been reported stolen out of Pueblo.

In addition to the Chaffee County warrant, Cole was arrested for possession of a handgun by a previous offender, criminal impersonation and theft. He was booked into Pueblo County Jail.

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January 28, 2018
Colorado Springs Man Arrested for Attempted Murder

William Earl Jones

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a 50-year-old Colorado Springs man early Saturday morning on attempted second-degree murder after he choked his wife and threatened to kill her with a knife.

Deputies responded to the rest area, located at Mile Marker 115 on Northbound Interstate 25, at about 1 a.m. after a woman called to report her husband had hit and choked her and threatened to kill her with a knife.

The woman told deputies she and her husband, identified as William E. Jones, had been drinking and were stopped at the rest area when they began to argue. The woman said Jones got angry and started choking her. She said she reached into the pocket of the door of the vehicle and pulled out a box cutter and swung it at Jones in an attempt to get him to stop. She said Jones did let go of her but then grabbed a knife and threatened to kill her with it. She said Jones got out of the vehicle and that’s when she called for help. Before deputies could arrive, Jones got back in the vehicle and started choking her again. When deputies arrived on scene, the woman was sitting in the vehicle, while Jones was outside the vehicle.

The woman suffered serious life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. She was later transported to a Denver hospital for further treatment of her injuries.

Jones suffered a facial laceration when the woman swiped at him with the box cutter. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and later transferred to Pueblo County Jail. He was booked in to jail for attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, menacing with a deadly weapon, third-degree assault, domestic violence and a protection order violation.

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January 26, 2018
Deputies Arrest Felon; Recover Stolen Gun

Nicholas Thiele

                     Nicholas Thiele

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a wanted felon Thursday night and found he was in possession of stolen handgun.

Deputies went to a home in the 200 block of West Adams Avenue at about 11 p.m. Thursday where they were told a man resided and he possibly may be with a 47-year-old woman, who was the subject of an unrelated case.

When deputies arrived, they contacted the male resident of the home, who gave deputies a false name. Deputies later learned the man was Nicholas Scott Thiele, 31, and he was wanted on a felony warrant. As deputies were confirming his identity, Thiele attempted to run from deputies but was quickly apprehended. As deputies were placing Thiele into handcuffs, they discovered he was wearing a shoulder holster, which contained a 45-caliber handgun. The handgun was reported stolen out of Fremont County.

A deputy and Thiele suffered minor injuries in the scuffle. Thiele was arrested for possession of a weapon by a previous offender, criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and a felony warrant for menacing. He was booked in to Pueblo County Jail.

 

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