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High Speed Chase & Foot Pursuit in Bent

(Las Animas, CO) -- Bent County Sheriff Deputies spent the late night into early morning hours in a vehicle pursuit.

Bent County Undersheriff Wick Turner explained the chase started in Bent County but ended in Otero county in La Junta just south of the Sale Barns. A foot pursuit ensued after and a man is in custody in the Bent County jail.

According to the booking information available from the Bent County jail, Joshua Willhoite was taken into custody and booked at 1:07 AM on August 11, 2022. His charges listed include:

vehicular eluding and reckless endangerment, menacing with a deadly weapon and possession of weapon by previous offender. He also has charges listed of 1st degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, first degree kidnapping, and a domestic violence summons and complaint.

Turner gave the report to commissioners at Thursday morning's meeting explaining that there were also numerous other calls happening at the same time last night. Turner explained that while his deputies pursued a vehicle in a high speed chase, he answered a domestic violence call in town.

This is the official news release from the BCSO from 12:00PM Aug 11th:

On 8/10/2022, at approximately 2027 hours Bent County Deputies received a call for a reckless driver.

Deputies received information that an occupant of the vehicle had a DOC warrant for his arrest. At approximately 2046 hours Deputies made contact with the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. Joshua Wellhoite fled the scene, westbound, in the vehicle while Deputies were speaking with the female party who exited the vehicle during the stop.

With help from Otero County, Colorado State Patrol, La Junta Police Department, La Junta Fire Department, and the Bent County Posse, the pursuit concluded near the 800 block of Kenilworth Avenue in La Junta. Wellhoite was then found hiding on a property near the area and taken into custody.

Wellhoite is being charged with Vehicular Eluding in violation of C.R.S 18-9-116.5, Reckless Endangerment in Violation of C.R.S 18-3-208, Menacing w/ deadly Weapon in Violation of C.R.S 18-3-206, Possession of Weapons by a previous offender in Violation of C.R.S 18-12-108, 1st Degree aggravated motor vehicle theft in Violation of C.R.S 18-4-409(3), 1st Degree kidnapping in Violation of C.R.S 18-3-301(1), and Domestic Violence in Violation of C.R.S 18-6-801.6.

Wellhoite was transported to the Bent County Jail where he is being held with no bond.

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty In a court of law.

In other Bent County Sheriff's office news, the new 911 system is now in place and the office has received their body cameras. Turner said they will begin training with them soon.


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