A 41-year-old Florida man attempted to elude Rawlins Police Department officers on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, on foot and eventually in an RPD patrol vehicle before he was eventually secured and arrested Friday evening.
The incident began when the rider of the motorcycle, identified as James Estes of Tampa, Florida, failed to stop for a Rawlins police officer who attempted to stop him for having no visible registration. Instead of stopping, Estes fled and sparked a pursuit that began on Spruce Street in the city and ended in Sweetwater County.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol picked up the pursuit as the motorcycle made its way onto westbound Interstate 80, according to a city press release about the chase. At about mile marker 189, Estes crossed the median, ditched the Harley-Davidson and tried to get away on foot.
But after a brief foot pursuit, he was caught, cuffed and secured in the rear prisoner area of an RPD patrol car.
That’s when Estes was able to slide his handcuffed arms to the front of his body, craw through the center divider of the car’s back cage — which measures less than a square foot — and steal the RPD patrol vehicle, according to the press release.
Highway Patrol again pursued the suspect, along with a Rawlins police officer, westbound on I-80. The chase continued into Sweetwater County to mile marker 119, where Estes lost control of the patrol car in the center median. He then again tried to flee on foot.
After another brief foot pursuit, a still-handcuffed-Estes was taken into custody again.
After an investigation, it was learned the suspect also had a warrant for his arrest on a probation violation from Placer County, California. He also faces a laundry list of charges in Sweetwater and Carbon counties. Those local charges are related to the theft of the police vehicle, fleeing, attempting to elude and possession of a controlled substance.
Nobody was hurt during the chase, the RPD reports, and Estes is being held at the Sweetwater County jail.