When to chase: CSPD & EPCSO procedures

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo — In three weeks, 21-year-old Kaleb Ryan Miles has had three separate criminal cases announced by two separate law enforcement agencies in El Paso County.

Kaleb Miles mug shot. Courtesy of Colorado Springs Police

The most recent, the Colorado Springs Police Department says Miles fired a shot into the bumper of the car he was trying to steal from an elderly couple. The couple resisted and Miles was charged with attempted aggravated robbery and crimes against at-risk persons.

The first interaction was a police chase that lasted over an hour and spread across at least ten miles—beginning in rural areas around Falcon and causing multiple crashes at three different locations, ending at Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs.

The chase began when the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says, Miles was drilling holes in gas tanks in order to steal gas.

“This was much more than just siphoning gas,” El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said. “This had been an evolving investigation over the course of about a week, a week and a half.” 

Last Friday, EPCSO announced four more charges against Miles: aggravated motor vehicle theft, aggravated robbery, false imprisonment, and domestic violence. It adds to two charges of reckless driving for the chase that sent a deputy to the hospital with minor injuries.

“He’d run from us a number of times before and we were at this point where we knew if we didn’t get him off the street, his continuing criminal violence would go on and on. It was time to arrest him,” Elder said.

Among the El Paso County Sheriff Office protocol for pursuing suspects, includes guidelines for both beginning a chase and terminating one.

Before initiating a pursuit, it says deputies should consider—among other things—the weather, time of day, confirmation of the suspect’s identity and determine that the suspect poses a greater risk to the public’s safety than a pursuit.

The policy guides deputies to terminate a pursuit when the fleeing vehicle gets too far away, there are hazards to uninvolved drivers, the suspect’s identity is known and the immediate capture of that person does not outweigh the risk of the community and it tells deputies to balance the risk the pursuit causes to the public, with the risk of that suspect being free.

“Vehicle pursuits are some of the most dangerous activities that law enforcement participates in across the country,” undersheriff Pete Carey said in a pursuit policy directive in March.

The policy directive was to eliminate pursuits for traffic misdemeanors, traffic infractions, property crimes or crimes that do not pose a danger to the public.

Elder said deputies followed the Office’s procedure in the October 18th chase, one he was monitoring with other supervisors up the chain of command.

“We lost sight of him a couple of times, only to pick it back up at a different location with a different vehicle,” said Elder. “Would we normally just let someone who just committed an aggravated robbery run away and not do everything we could to stop them from continuing to do that? No. It was time to stop him.”

Elder said they were closing in on Miles on the day of the chase, with a plan to arrest him at a place they expected him to be later that day. Resources that may have been able to wedge in between Falcon and Colorado Springs, were preparing for it.

“We were actually moving more resources to the location we were expecting him to be when he was spotted somewhere else,” Elder explained. “So, it basically diverted those resources to that point.”

Miles’s first court date is November 4 for four separate cases.

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