Colorado woman arrested after Crook County pursuit

A Colorado woman was arrested Wednesday morning after refusing to pay for a tow truck and leading Crook County law enforcement on a pursuit, according to police.

Prineville Police Sgt. James Peterson said the incident started around 4:25 a.m. when an officer stopped to help a woman whose Chevy SUV was stuck in a ditch near SE Reservoir Road and SE Cascade Way.

A tow truck was sent to the scene and pulled the SUV out of the ditch and jump started it. The woman, identified as 49-year-old Letitia Denise Smith of Aurora, Colo., refused to pay and drove away from the scene, Peterson said.

Smith was pursued by officers and failed to yield to flashing lights and sirens as she drove east on Reservoir Rd. at speeds between 20 and 50 mph. She continued on to Hwy 27, initially heading south then turning north toward Prineville.

Smith drove for several miles toward Prineville where additional officers and deputies from the Crook County Sheriff’s Officer prepared to stop the SUV with spike strips. ODOT helped by stopping southbound traffic onto Hwy. 27.

The spike strips initially deflated the left front tire of the SUV while another set of strips deflated both right side tires, Peterson said. The SUV finally came to a stop in front of the Crook County Fairgrounds main entrance.

Peterson said Smith did not comply with officers commands to get out of the car and continued to reach around in the SUV. He said because officers couldn’t see through the the dark tinting on the windows, they fired bean bag rounds to break the rear window.

Smith still refused to get out, Peterson said, so officers used pepper spray to lure her out.

She was arrested on charges of theft of services, attempt to elude, reckless endangering and second-degree criminal mischief and taken to the Crook County Jail. Peterson said Smith had more than $2,100 cash on her at the time of the arrest.

Nobody was injured during this pursuit and property damage was limited to Smith’s vehicle.

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