Law enforcement find weapons, burglary tools after man is arrested for high-speed chase near Hayden
Man struck deer at near 100 mph speeds, which finally stopped his vehicle, according to law enforcement
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After a high-speed chase near Hayden Saturday, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer arrested a man who had drug paraphernalia, weapons and burglary tools in his vehicle.
Levi Schwingdorf, 34, faces nine criminal charges, including reckless driving, eluding law enforcement and possessing a weapon as a previous offender, a felony, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center. Based on court filings, it appears Schwingdorf lives in Grand Junction but has criminal trials pending in Routt and Moffat counties.
The incident began at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, when law enforcement received a report of shots fired from the 1100 block of West Jefferson Avenue in Hayden, according to the affidavit. A silver sedan reportedly left the scene and drove westbound along U.S. Highway 40 toward Craig.
The wildlife officer was patrolling the highway at the time and saw the sedan speed past. As the officer followed the vehicle, he clocked the sedan traveling faster than 99 mph and passing multiple vehicles on a double yellow, according to the affidavit.
The wildlife officer turned on his overhead emergency lights and sirens, but the sedan continued at its high speed, refusing to pull over. Schwingdorf turned suddenly onto Moffat County Road 29, then sped up again to more than 99 mph.
About two miles down the road, the sedan’s hazard lights came on. Two miles later, it came to a stop with smoke wafting from the front end. Schwingdorf had hit a deer, according to the affidavit, which caused “heavy front damage” to the vehicle and deployed the air bags.
As Schwingdorf exited the sedan, the officer drew his gun and told the man to put his hands in the air. Schwingdorf refused. The officer told him to lie on the ground, and he then complied. The officer placed Schwingdorf into custody just after 11 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Two Colorado State Patrol officers arrived on scene and assisted the officer with an investigation of the sedan. They found a machete and two methamphetamine pipes within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat, according to the affidavit. They also found a handgun, ammunition and several tools used to steal cars, such as a blank key and a bent antennae, which, as the officer explained in the affidavit, is often used to unlock car doors.
Law enforcement conducted a background check on Schwingdorf, which revealed an extensive criminal history, including multiple traffic offenses, protection orders and an active court case.
About a month ago, Hayden Police Department officers arrested him on suspicion of careless driving and possessing a controlled substance, later identified as methamphetamine, according to another arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center.
He was released on $10,000 bail July 3 in relation to that incident, according to justice officials, but has since returned to the Routt County Jail on a $20,000 bond.
As of Tuesday, he was still in custody following the high-speed pursuit.
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