Transient man arrested after shooting at Routt County deputies in vehicle chase |

Transient man arrested after shooting at Routt County deputies in vehicle chase

Benjamin Neighbors

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man who shot at law enforcement while attempting to flee in a vehicle that was allegedly stolen outside of Steamboat Springs on Thursday night.

Benjamin Neighbors, 38, has been charged with three felonies, including aggravated motor vehicle theft, felony eluding and attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, according to arrest records from the Routt County Justice Center. 

At 11:30 p.m., deputies received a report of a 1998 Toyota Tacoma stolen from a home north of Columbine along Routt County Road 129, according to a news release. The vehicle had been seen heading south toward Steamboat. 

Deputies attempted to stop a truck matching the description near Clark. The driver of the vehicle refused to pull over and continued south along C.R. 129. At mile marker 3, the driver fired several shots at deputies through the rear window of the truck, according to the news release.

When the driver reached Steamboat, he turned west onto U.S. Highway 40 and continued driving toward Craig. At the border between Routt and Moffat counties, Colorado State Patrol troopers were able to deploy tire-deflation devices and stop the vehicle. 

The driver exited the vehicle wielding a handgun but tossed it to the side of the road, according to the news release. Law enforcement took him into custody and transported him to the Routt County Jail. 

As of Friday morning, Neighbors’ court appearance had not been scheduled. 

It is unclear where the man lives or came from, according to Undersheriff Doug Scherar. The man has an Oregon driver’s license, but he does not have a current address.

“I would guess he is more transient right now,” Scherar said.

No deputies or other law enforcement officers were injured in the incident, Scherar added.

Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Steamboat Springs Police Department officers and Routt County Communications Center dispatchers assisted in the investigation and arrest of the suspect. 

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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