Police chase lands man in jail

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A Cortez resident was arrested Dec. 10 after leading Montezuma County Sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph.

Shane Billsie, 25, is charged with vehicular eluding causing substantial risk of injury, aggravated motor vehicle theft, driving while under the influence of alcohol/drugs or both, driving a vehicle while license revoked, eluding or attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

Shortly after 6 a.m. on Dec. 10 sheriff's deputies were informed that a vehicle had just been stolen in Towaoc.

Deputy Brad Ray observed a green Ford Expedition with a broken passenger-side taillight driving north on Highway 160 and asked dispatch if the stolen vehicle had a broken taillight.

The answer was yes and Ray tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the Expedition sped away reaching speeds of more than 100 mph as the suspect approached the Cortez city limits.

According to a sheriff's office report, the vehicle Billsie was driving failed to yield and started to make unsafe passes while approaching the construction zone on South Broadway.

The sheriff's office set up spike strips near the 700 block of South Broadway, but they failed to pierce the tires.

According to the MCSO report, Billsie turned onto eastbound Main Street, and once in the downtown area began making several evasive maneuvers, trying to lose patrol units pursuing him.

The MCSO report said Billsie nearly struck two police vehicle during the pursuit.

At about 6:25 a.m. Billsie stopped the vehicle at 500 S. Cedar and exited the vehicle before laying on the ground in the middle of the roadway.

When Ray told Billsie to stand up and face the front of the vehicle, the suspect allegedly uttered an expletive before being placed into custody.

The owner of the stolen vehicle told police there were two rifles in the vehicle, and dispatch asked the vehicle owners to come to the location so the car could be released to them.

According to the police report, the owner of the car said he was taking it to a mechanic to determine if the vehicle had any damage.

Also according to the police report, Billsie refused to perform voluntary roadside maneuvers as well as a blood and breath test, resulting in him being transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital for medical clearance before being sent back to the jail.

While in the jail booking room, Billsie, according to the report, stated "I took the vehicle because I was freezing and had no way to get back home."

Police said Billsie had $260 on him when he was booked into the jail, and the portable breath test he eventually took reveled a .07 blood-alcohol content.

Billsie is still in custody and is being held on a $50,000 bond.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com