18th judicial district

Suspect in chase to be prosecuted in Douglas County

By Chris Michlewicz
Posted
Stone

The man suspected of leading authorities on a perilous pursuit that stretched more than 50 miles through four counties went from a hospital room to a jail cell March 13.

Ryan Cole Stone, 28, was transferred to the Douglas County Detention Facility in Castle Rock after being treated for injuries sustained in a chain of accidents he allegedly caused, including the violent T-bone collision that ended the chase March 12.

Stone, who was wanted on warrants for auto theft, burglary and failure to appear in court on drug charges, now faces a longer list of criminal charges and will be prosecuted in Douglas County, said George Brauchler, district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, at a news conference the day after the pursuit.

Stone is expected to appear at a March 19 hearing for a formal filing of charges. The Centennial resident made his first court appearance March 14 and is being held on bonds of $2.5 million and $1 million. It is unknown if he has retained an attorney.

There are several reasons for prosecuting Stone in Douglas County that best serve the interests of Colorado, said Boulder County DA Stan Garnett. District attorneys from the affected jurisdictions are "amassing information" and partnering with each other to "make sure the charges reflect the true victims out there," he said.

A Colorado State Patrol trooper suffered "lower extremity leg injuries" after being struck by a gold minivan Stone was driving near E-470 and Chambers Road. The trooper, Bellamann Hee, was released from the hospital shortly after and will undergo extensive rehabilitation. No other injuries were reported.

The state patrol's interim chief, Scott Hernandez, said Colorado should be proud of its law enforcement agencies and media outlets. Cooperation and coordination between police helped limit the number of exit points for Stone as he drove south on Interstate 25 at speeds reaching more than 100 mph.

Media coverage, particularly by a KOA new helicopter that tracked the pursuit from the air, was "really critical," Hernandez said, because officers had to discontinue the chase several times out of fear for public safety and the well-being of a 4-year-old boy in the first stolen vehicle, taken in Longmont. The suspect "showed no regard for human life" and police breathed a sigh of relief because Stone did not enter areas where there was "more potential for damage," like a school zone, he said.

Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said Stone ran at least six vehicles off the road.

Brauchler lauded the maneuver by a Douglas County Sheriff's deputy that prevented Stone from escaping by vehicle after the crash at Lincoln Avenue and Peoria Street, across from The Wildlife Experience.

"I'm not sure if this ends if not for that last-second maneuver," he said.

Stone ran for a short distance, but was taken into custody after trying to climb a fence into the Windsor at Meridian Apartments.

When Brauchler was asked why Stone was free, given his lengthy rap sheet and outstanding warrants, the DA said authorities attempted to take him into custody March 4 without success.

"If things had gone the way they're supposed to in court, would this have happened? That's a fair question," he said.

Chief deputy district attorney Jason Siers and deputy district attorney Laura Wilson will represent the state.