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Poncha Springs man leads deputies on high speed chase


On September 6, 2014 at approximately 10:45 pm Chaffee County sheriff’s deputies were attempting to serve two outstanding arrest warrants on David Wayne Vantassell, a 25 year old resident of Poncha Springs.

Sergeant Kevin Everson and Deputy Robin Burgess were in the area of Vantassell’s home when he was spotted on Highway 285 in Poncha Springs. Sergeant Everson tried to stop Vantassell, who was driving a 2001 Audi, however he refused to pull over and a vehicle pursuit ensued. Sergeant Everson and Deputy Burgess pursued Vantassell who then headed eastbound on Highway 50 with speeds exceeding 131 as he approached the Salida city limits. Chaffee County personnel requested that stop sticks be deployed before Vantassell entered Salida. Salida Police personnel responded to assist but due to Vantassell’s excessive speed this was not possible. Vantassell continued eastbound on Highway 50 through Salida and eventually turned onto county road 102, entering the Salida stockyard area. Vantassell then drove back towards Salida, heading northbound on the dirt road that parallels the railroad tracks. A short time later law enforcement personnel located the suspect vehicle abandoned along the Arkansas River between the stockyards and Salida.

Personnel from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Salida Police Department began a search of the area and located Vantassell on the east bank of the Arkansas River hiding in very thick brush. Vantassell was then taken into custody at that location and transported to HRRMC for medical evaluation.

Vantassell was observed and released from HRRMC and transported to the Chaffee County Detention Facility where he was booked into jail for the following charges:

  1. 2 outstanding arrest warrants for Failure to comply with court orders
  2. Felony Vehicular Eluding
  3. Misdemeanor Reckless Endangerment
  4. Resisting Arrest
  5. Second Degree Assault
  6. Speeding (131mph in a 40 posted 40 mph zone)
  7. Reckless Driving