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More details released in pursuit that injured Fountain police officer

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The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is seeking witnesses and video footage of a pursuit in which a Fountain police officer fell 40 feet off a bridge.

The alleged carjackers in the pursuit drove the wrong way on Interstate 25 at one point and attempted another armed carjacking at a gas station, the sheriff’s office said in a Friday news release detailing the pursuit. Three people were arrested in the pursuit, and the officer, Julian Becerra, is recovering from his injuries.

Fountain police officers and several other agencies were assisting the Department of Correction Parole Unit on Feb. 2 in locating a known carjacking suspect with active felony warrants.

Officers tracked the vehicle from Pueblo to Colorado Springs, and at about 5:30 p.m., officers spotted the vehicle at a store parking lot near North Academy Boulevard and Platte Avenue.

The carjacking suspects were believed to be attempting another carjacking in the store parking lot, but “because of the reckless actions of the suspect driving the vehicle, officers were unable to safely maintain the visual contact” and couldn’t confirm that carjacking, according to the news release.

A little while later at 7:15 p.m., the vehicle was located again on Interstate 25 heading north toward Fountain and tracked to the area of Colorado 85 and Alegre Circle, where officers confirmed the vehicle was occupied by three people.

Officers attempted several tactical vehicle interventions, maneuvers meant to force a fleeing driver to lose control and stop, but were unsuccessful.

The vehicle drove south on U.S. 85 through Fountain then entered Interstate 25 and headed south in the northbound lanes, according to the news release.

Officers stopped following the vehicle “due to excessive speeds and the extreme risk to the public,” and attempted to prevent traffic in the northbound lanes when they learned the vehicle made a U-turn and was driving north in the northbound lanes.

Other officers stationed in perimeter positions witnessed the vehicle pull into a travel plaza in the 5500 block of Travel Plaza Drive, according to the news release, and the people in the car attempted another armed carjacking in the parking lot.

Due to the felonies being committed and the risk to the public, officers re-engaged and attempted to apprehend the people in the vehicle.

The vehicle exited Interstate 25 at South Academy, and officers were eventually able to partially disable the vehicle and successfully perform a tactical vehicle intervention on South Academy just east of Hartford Street.

The driver then jumped out of the vehicle and began to run on foot. While officers attempted to apprehend him, Becerra fell over the bridge and landed 40 feet below.

The suspect tried to jump off the bridge to elude officers, but they grabbed him to prevent his fall.

“As the suspect was hanging over the bridge he repeatedly stated, ‘let me go, I want to die,’” according to the news release.

The officers pulled him up to safety and arrested him and the other two people in the vehicle without incident.

Becerra has been a Fountain police officer for four and a half years and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division as a K9 Officer.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigative agency in this case and asks any witness or person with video footage of the incident to contact their Tip Line at 719-520-7777.

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