Sheriff In School Shooting Chases Down Motorcyclist

Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener Falls To Ground Trying To Stop Motorcyclist

A familiar face from the Platte Canyon High School shooting has been injured in the line of duty.

Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener was involved in a high-speed chase when he was injured.

It all began around 10:20 a.m. Saturday when there were reports of a hit-and-run involving a car and a motorcycle on Highway 285 north of Bailey. The motorcyclist fled the scene.

Sheriff Wegener was injured when the motorcycle blew through a road block the Sheriff had set-up at Shawnee, on 285 south of Platte Canyon High School.

The Sheriff pursued the motorcycle and the chase finally ended west of the town of Como.

Sheriff Wegener isn't looking for additional notoriety after the Platte Canyon High tragedy, but he's certainly getting it.

At the road block, the motorcyclist slowed as if he were stopping, and then accelerated. At that point, the sheriff reached to shove the motorcycle over, but missed and fell face first toward the ground.

"I had blocked the highway, had the lights on on my vehicle. I tried to push it over and ended up getting knocked down. Hurt my knee and finger and banged up my pride a little, but I'll be fine," said Sheriff Wegener.

The motorcyclist took off. The sheriff then jumped in his unmarked Dodge Charger and gave chase. The high speed pursuit reached speeds close to 140 mph, he said.

"It was moving, passing cars on double yellow lines, it was amazing," said Wegener.

During the chase, an trooper with the Colorado State Patrol also pursued the motorcycle. Sheriff Wegener finally caught up with the motorcyclist on a dirt road. The sheriff nudged the motorcycle with his bumper.

"He then went off into the ditch and crashed. He put his hands up and surrendered at that point," said Sheriff Wegener.

The motorcyclist is from nearby Conifer, Colo., but his name has not yet been released. He faces charges of reckless driving, eluding a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license.

"This chase started because the guy had no license. If he had just stopped, he probably would have gotten a ticket, and then we would have told him to call a friend to come get him, and he'd of been done with it. But, he put a lot of lives in danger instead. Thank God no one got hurt," said Sheriff Wegener.

The sheriff could have charged the motorcyclist with assaulting a peace officer, but said he is given the guy a break on that charge. "I don't want to ruin his life. I just want him to think a little," said Wegener.