Denver tractor chase suspect may have committed other crimes that night, police say – The Denver Post
The man accused of stealing a John Deere tractor and leading police on a low-speed chase through downtown Denver may have committed other crimes Friday night, according to the Denver Police Department.
That’s why detectives aren’t releasing the mugshot of Thomas Busch, 37. “Part of the investigation includes speaking with witnesses and conducting photo lineups,” according to the department.
Busch faces three charges in connection with Friday night’s incident: First-degree assault, motor vehicle theft and vehicular eluding.
The tractor hit several vehicles and buildings during the 30-minute chase, including one at East 11th Avenue and North Colorado Boulevard.
Police started chasing the tractor at City Park around 8:30 p.m. after they spotted it driving over the park’s grass and sidewalks, according to police documents. Several people had already called 911 to report a man crashing a tractor into a fence and driving through a construction site.
The tractor’s driver didn’t stop when police turned on their lights and pedestrians were forced “to flee when he would drive on the sidewalk,” according to the documents.
The tractor then headed into downtown Denver driving the wrong way down a busy street. That’s when, according to police documents, officers decided to “end the chase before he was able to hurt anyone.”
A police squad car rammed into the tractor, disabling it and injuring the officer in the process. The crash temporarily closed 15th Street from Larimer to Blake.
Once the tractor stopped, police said the driver “became combative and fought officers.” Officers reported having to use two tasers to subdue Busch and then released a police dog before being able handcuff the suspect.
This isn’t the first time Busch has been arrested.
A criminal background search revealed a string of prior convictions in jurisdictions across Colorado dating back to 1999. He has been arrested for assault on an officer, domestic violence, aggravated robbery and vehicle theft.
Busch is scheduled to appear in Denver County Court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
As for the tractor itself, a spokesman for Denver Water told The Denver Post the agency won’t know the extent of the damage until DPD completes its investigation.
Denver Water employees primarily used the tractor for mowing and maintenance activities. Spokesman Travis Thompson said employees will use other equipment or contractors until the agency repairs or replaces the tractor.
— garbuckle (@gazucci) July 21, 2018
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