LONGMONT, Colo. - A carjacking and kidnapping suspect is in custody after a wild police chase through the Denver metro area that started after an SUV with a child inside was stolen.
The 4-year-old boy was found safe after the suspect jumped out of the SUV and carjacked the second of three vehicles.
A Colorado State Trooper, identified as Bellamann Hee, was hit by the second carjacked vehicle and seriously injured during the chase. That trooper underwent surgery for his injuries and is expected to fully recover.
LINK: PHOTOS OF THE CHASE
It all started when the pajama-clad boy was left in a running red Ford Edge at a Bradley gas station at 1750 Main St. in Longmont just after 6 a.m.
Surveillance video showed a blond man wearing a yellow and black jacket in the gas station around that time. Police issued an Amber Alert with the picture of the suspect. Investigators identified the man as 28-year-old Ryan Stone.
-- A 'strange and crazy morning'
Around 7:15 a.m. the stolen red SUV was spotted going southbound Interstate 25 in Thornton.
Police pursued the vehicle as Stone got on and off the highway and went through several neighborhoods before getting on Interstate 76 at 7:38 a.m.
At E-470 and 152nd, Stone used the red SUV to block a gold minivan. When the two people inside the gold minivan got out, he carjacked it and headed the wrong way on I-76. The boy was left in the red SUV and found by Commerce City Police.
Stone then got onto southbound E-470 at 104th at 7:45 a.m. The suspect was able to avoid stop sticks put down by police at least twice.
His speeds varied widely and he came close to hitting several cars, swerving in and out of traffic and at times driving on the shoulder.
AIRTRACKER7 said it was going 102 knots and having trouble keeping up with the van. That's approximately 117 mph.
Stone struck a Colorado State Patrol trooper on E-470 between Chambers and Peoria at 8:03 a.m. as he was attempting to put down stop sticks.
"After he throws the (stop) sticks, the suspect veered his direction. The trooper ran out of the way, attempted to get out of the way by jumping the guard rail and subsequently was hit and kind of pinned under the guard rail by the vehicle. He has been transported from the scene to Littleton Hospital. He is expected to be OK," said CSP Trooper Nate Reid.
The trooper was later identified as Trooper Bellamann Hee, an 8-year veteran of the patrol. He is assigned to the Castle Rock Troop Office and is also the president of the Association of Colorado State Patrol Professionals.
In the minutes after Hee was hurt, the gold minivan clipped at least one car, exited at Peoria and then hit another car.
Stone, wearing a yellow and black jacket, jumped out of the smoking van waving his hands wildly before he got back in the van and headed southbound on Peoria at 8:05 a.m.
Moments later, Stone sideswiped a silver BMW. When the woman stopped the vehicle, he yanked her out of the driver's seat and threw her to the ground. She attempted to grab the door handle as he drove off with her car.
Stone drove less than a mile in the silver BMW before he slammed into several vehicles at Peoria and Lincoln. He jumped out and then ran into a parking lot, shedding his jacket at one point. He attempted to climb a fence but couldn't and officers were able to pin him to the ground at 8:08 a.m.
The entire chase lasted more than an hour.
"What we were trying to do was make sure citizens were safe but we could still apprehend this guy," said Undersheriff Spurlock with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "He was not going to stop committing crimes."
"This is a strange and crazy morning in Colorado," investigators said. "This you do not see in Colorado."
-- Charges pending
"[Stone] does have a warrant for his arrest and he is facing numerous charges out of Longmont for our incident and all the incidents along the way," said Jeff Satur with the Longmont Police Department.
"Right now, he is in Douglas County… and he'll be incarcerated in Douglas County… and we will be filing criminal charges against him," said officials with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
He was being checked out at Sky Ridge Hospital Wednesday morning.
"We will determine if he was intoxicated, that will be part of our investigation but we won't have that information for some time," Douglas County investigators said.
Stone has an extensive criminal record, including multiple drug and theft charges and at least one restraining order.
LINK: MORE ABOUT THE SUSPECT
-- Boy reunited with family
The child was checked by medical personnel and was reunited with his parents at the Brighton police station, Satur said.
"[The boy's mother] had a very rough day, the worst day that could ever happen to a mother - to watch your car with your child get stolen right in front of you," Satur said. "We're talking very short distances. It is not like she left her kid in the car for hours on end. She just parked outside the business and walked in and the guy jumped in the car. So, we're talking maybe 15 or 20 feet."
Satur said the mother will not face any charges for leaving her son in a running vehicle.
-- Suspect's girlfriend arrested
Stone's girlfriend was arrested in an allegedly stolen car Tuesday night, Satur said. Stone was not found at the time but was identified as a suspect and was wearing similar clothing Wednesday.
"We believed we identified him pretty early on but we weren't terribly sure until they got cuffs on him down in Douglas County."
-- Other victims
The victims involved in the carjackings are all OK, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.