(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A press conference was held by the Fountain Police Department (FPD) on Friday, Feb. 3 to discuss the incident on Thursday, near South Academy Boulevard and Hartford Street, which left an FPD officer in critical but stable condition after falling from a bridge.
Before the press conference on Friday, FPD provided an updated press release identifying the injured officer and the three suspects who were arrested in the incident, as well as what led up to the attempted traffic stop.
The injured officer has been identified as FPD Officer Julian Becerra, who has been with the department for four and a half years and is assigned to the Patrol Division as a K9 Officer. Officer Becerra’s K9 was not in his patrol car on Thursday, FPD said.
The suspects are 31-year-old Devon Bobian of Pueblo, 28-year-old Danisha Pacheco of Pueblo, and 37-year-old Anthony Vallejos, also of Pueblo.
According to FPD, at around 4 p.m. its Directed Investigation Community Engagement (D.I.C.E.) team was asked to assist the Department of Corrections Parole Unit with locating Bobian, a known carjacking suspect from the Pueblo area who had active felony warrants.
FPD said Bobian and the suspected stolen car, a Hyundai Tuscon, were believed to be northbound on I-25 from Pueblo. Multiple agencies responded in the search for the Hyundai, and when it was tracked to the Colorado Springs Police Department’s (CSPD) jurisdiction near the Citadel Mall, the CSPD tactical group also responded.
Around 5:30 p.m., the Hyundai was seen by officers near the Lowe’s on North Academy Boulevard near Platte Avenue. FPD said the suspects were believed to be attempting to steal another car at Lowe’s but officers lost sight of the suspects due to the driver’s “reckless actions.”
Around 7:15 p.m., the Hyundai was once again located and tracked by law enforcement on Highway 85 and Alegre Circle in Fountain, where FPD found it occupied by the three suspects. FPD said officers attempted several times to disable the Hyundai but were unsuccessful.
The car was then followed south on Highway 85 through the City of Fountain where the driver got on the interstate traveling south in the northbound lanes. Due to the dangerous actions of the suspects, officers called off the chase due to excessive speeds and the extreme risk to the public.
The Hyundai made a U-turn on the interstate and pulled into the Love’s Travel Plaza in the 5500 block of Travel Plaza Drive, where officers saw the suspects attempt another armed carjacking in the parking lot.
FPD said officers determined they had to reengage the suspects to keep anyone from getting hurt, and continued to follow the car around 7:45 p.m. northbound on I-25. The Hyundai exited the interstate at South Academy, where a tire strip was used to try and stop the chase, and although the car was partially disabled, it continued to drive away from officers.
FPD said officers chasing the car performed a tactical vehicle intervention (TVI), commonly referred to as a PIT maneuver, just east of Hartford Street and disabled the Hyundai. The driver, Bobian, jumped out of the car and tried to run from officers on foot.
While FPD officers were attempting to catch Bobian, Officer Becerra fell over the bridge and landed 40 feet below, FPD said.
Bobian also tried to jump from the bridge in an attempt to escape, at which point officers grabbed him to prevent him from escaping or falling from the bridge. FPD said as Bobian was hanging over the bridge, he repeatedly said “let me go, I want to die.” Officers were able to pull him up to safety and place him into custody without incident.
Bobian and the two passengers in the stolen Hyundai, Pacheco and Vallejos, were taken into custody and booked into the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. Bobian and Vallejos were arrested on active felony warrants along with additional felony charges related to this incident.
Pacheco was arrested on numerous felony charges. FPD said additional charges will likely be added upon the conclusion of the investigation. FPD said the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) is the lead agency in the investigation.
FPD said Officer Becerra is in critical but stable condition, and his family is by his side at the hospital. Donations can be made to the Becerra family through the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association’s Relief Fund. When completing the online donation form, FPD asks that you check the “Designated” box and enter “Julian Becerra” in the “Designated Officer Name” field.
A peer support group has also been activated for the officers involved in Thursday’s incident, and those who may need support following Becerra’s injury, FPD said.
We are so thankful to the surrounding law enforcement agencies for their outstanding support through difficult time. Thank you to all the Fire and EMS personnel for the quick response and the lifesaving aid you provided. Thank you to the Flight for Life crew and all the hospital personnel for taking amazing care of our officer. We are indebted to you.Fountain Police Department Public Safety Information Officer Lisa Schneider