I shouldn’t have to explain how dangerous police pursuits can be. No matter how brief chases could be, the danger to those caught in the path of the suspect and the police are incredibly high. Earlier this week, the community of Brighton, Colorado was irreparably damaged in the span of less than two minutes.
KDVR reported that local police were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle. The police discovered that the vehicle was reported stolen in nearby Westminster, CO. After the suspect rammed a squad car when police backup arrived on scene, the police pursued the vehicle.
The suspect then ran through a stop sign and hit another car. The collision ejected a female passenger from the struck vehicle. The passenger was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The woman was later identified to KDVR by her family as Dulce Castro, a 21-year-old cancer survivor.
The suspect would later lose control of the vehicle attempting to evade pursuing officers and strike a male pedestrian. The pedestrian was also killed. Police were then able to bring the suspect into custody. Three Brighton police officers are now on paid leave as the pursuit is investigated by the 17th Judicial District of Colorado.
The department states that it operates under a limited pursuit policy. The department chief said in a press conference, “We don’t pursue for property crimes, non-violent crimes. Those kind of things” The police chief refused to comment on whether the collision with a police officer was a proper cause to initiate the pursuit until the investigation was completed.
A local city councilman who resides near the scene told KDVR that he is interested in technology to track suspects and limit future police chases. It seems so senseless that two innocent lives were lost chasing down a stolen car.