Car thief who led police on high-speed chase down I-70 pleads guilty
FRISCO — A car thief who was arrested earlier this year after a high-speed chase down Interstate 70 pleaded guilty to a pair of felony charges during a hearing at the Summit County Justice Center on Monday morning.
Valeriy Sergeyevich Statovoy was arrested in September after stealing a vehicle and leading police on a pursuit that ended in a crash just east of the Eisenhower Tunnel. On Monday, Statovoy accepted a plea agreement in the case, pleading guilty to felony counts of vehicular eluding and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
At about 8:50 p.m. Sept. 9, an officer with the Silverthorne Police Department witnessed a gray sedan traveling north on Colorado Highway 9 with its headlights off. The officer pulled over to observe the vehicle, believing it might have been involved in another case being investigated by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, according to police records of the incident.
The officer observed the driver, later identified as Statovoy, make an “erratic” U-turn at the intersection of Rainbow Drive and Highway 9, and begin heading south on the highway. Statovoy briefly stopped before running a red light and continuing up the eastbound I-70 on-ramp.
The officer turned on his sirens and tried to initiate a traffic stop. The pursuit began on the ramp, though slowly at first. According to police records, Statovoy made another U-turn on the ramp, drove the wrong way back down onto Highway 9, struck another vehicle, turned back onto the eastbound I-70 ramp and took off.
Support Local Journalism
The intensity of the chase quickly picked up, according to the report. Statovoy began to brake and swerve in the direction of the officer, who needed to veer to avoid a collision. At around milepost 208, just east of Silverthorne, another Silverthorne officer joined the chase. Officers reported that the speeds varied from 70-100 mph throughout the pursuit.
Statovoy made his way to the Eisenhower Tunnel, where he was forced to pass a number of stopped vehicles on the left shoulder. He eventually made his way through the tunnel, and he crashed on the other side. Officers observed Statovoy crouching behind the rear of the crashed vehicle and gave him commands to show his hands. Statovoy then jumped the cement median, ran across the westbound lanes of traffic and into a wooded area on the side of the road where officers lost sight of him.
Law enforcement officials with the Colorado State Patrol and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist in the search, though it wouldn’t last long. An employee with the Colorado Department of Transportation was able to advise officers that Statovoy was hiding behind a bush nearby. Once he was located, Statovoy finally came out with his hands up, according to reports.
Emergency medical services evaluated Statovoy on scene and transported him to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco. While on scene, dispatch also advised officers that the car Statovoy was driving had been reported stolen out of Glenwood Springs. Officers also discovered identification cards of three individuals inside the car and were advised that Statovoy’s driving status had been denied since 2017.
Statovoy agreed to a blood test while at the hospital and was later taken to the Summit County Jail after being medically cleared. Statovoy was booked on a number of charges, including vehicular eluding, driving under the influence, aggravated motor vehicle theft, first-degree assault, reckless driving, criminal possession of an identification document, obstructing a peace officer and more.
Statovoy appeared in custody at the hearing on Monday, and pleaded guilty to charges of vehicular eluding and aggravated motor vehicle theft, both class-five felonies punishable by one to three years in prison. Additionally, Statovoy pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired, a traffic misdemeanor. The other charges were dropped as a result of the plea agreement.
Statovoy is set to return to court for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 23, following a presentence investigation and community corrections screening.