Car chase suspects advised of possible charges
EAGLE — Two Arvada residents, one accused of recklessly fleeing from police Thursday morning in Eagle, made appearances in Eagle County Court on Friday, where they learned they could potentially face years in prison if convicted.
Rebel L. Bonser Jr., 27, made no remarks as Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez increased his bond from $15,000 to $50,000 at the request of prosecutors, who said Bonser was out on parole for felony convictions in 2018.
Bonser was allegedly driving a Ford SUV that sped off from the Loaf & Jug gas station in Eagle when police approached, speeding, driving in the wrong direction through a roundabout, and driving in the wrong lane, at one point nearly hitting another car head on, which prompted sheriff’s deputies and Eagle police to briefly stop their pursuit.
The vehicle was later apprehended on Highway 6 near Wolcott, where Bonser allegedly swerved to avoid stop sticks on the road and nearly struck a sheriff’s deputy, who had to jump back and injured his ankle in the process, according to an affidavit.
Two baggies of suspected methamphetamine were reportedly thrown out of the vehicle’s passenger window near the Wolcott Post Office before the vehicle came to a stop and its two occupants were taken into custody. One of the bags weighed 14.6 grams, the other 13.1 grams, according to police.
Bonser is being held on preliminary charges of assault in the second degree, possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, vehicular eluding, tampering with evidence and menacing, all felonies.
An alleged passenger in the vehicle, Ariel S. Gomez, 27, also from Arvada, told the court she wanted to see her bond reduced. Prosecutors requested a $25,000 bond, but Judge Olguin-Fresquez left it set at $15,000 for now.
Gomez alternately told the court she has until April 13 to get back to school, where she is getting a degree in social and criminal justice, that she is homeless, that she’s been living in the same motel room for three months, and that she has a medical condition and only a year and a half to live.
According to the affidavit, during an interview with police, Bonser said the substance police found was meth, that it had come from his vehicle, and that he told Gomez to throw it out the window. When interviewed by police, Gomez admitted to throwing the meth out the window.
Gomez told the court that she was just a passenger in the vehicle, had no say over what was happening, and was scared for her life. She also suggested that the meth could have just flown out of her window as the vehicle hit a bump.
Gomez is being held on preliminary charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, and tampering with evidence, all felonies.
Prosecutors have until April 2 to file formal criminal charges against Bonser and Gomez. Both are set to next appear in court April 6.
A second vehicle that also fled the gas station as police approached Thursday morning and got away, is described as a Ford sedan, spray-painted black, believed to be stolen and driven by Daymon Wayne Armstrong Jr., 30 of Denver.
Tom Lotshaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.