Man accused of going on ‘rampage’ in Denver charged with bias-motivated crime, attempted murder

Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 17:04:09-05

DENVER — A man accused of going on a “rampage” during a spree of hit-and-run crashes in Denver that injured four people in January was charged with 15 counts, including bias-motivated charges.

Tyler Hazell, 23, was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, first and second degree assault, menacing and criminal mischief. In addition, prosecutors have charged Hazell with two felony counts of bias-motivated crime. Prosecutors believe that Hazell targeted one of the victims based on his perceived sexual orientation.

Hazell is accused of multiple crashes the morning of Jan. 30 that injured two Denver police officers, a prisoner and a pedestrian. The series of incidents began around 8:30 a.m. when officers were called to the Burger King at 1010 West Colfax Ave. on the report of a disturbance between Hazell and restaurant staff, according to an affidavit.

Before police arrived at the Burger King, Hazell took off in his Honda Pilot and approached two women in a Honda Civic, yelling, "Race me or die," according to the affidavit. After the driver of the Civic turned around to get away from Hazell, the suspect allegedly began chasing the two women, ramming the passenger side of the Civic several times. On the phone with 911, the women were directed to a nearby police station and escaped injury.

Police said Hazell "continues his rampage." Leaving the chase with the Civic, he arrived at 14th and Broadway where he "intentionally leaves the roadway and attempts to run down two men who were walking on the sidewalk. They scatter as the car approaches. Hazell chases one of the men with his car," the documents say. Hazell allegedly runs down one of the men as he attempts to flee, fracturing the victim's pelvis and legs.

Shortly after, police said Hazell got out of his car to give a transient man a high five and took a photo before getting back in the Pilot and ramming an occupied marked police vehicle in the 1400 block of North Delaware Street. The suspect then traveled 75 feet and rammed a second occupied marked police vehicle, the affidavit states.

One officer and a prisoner in one of the patrol cars allegedly struck by Hazell were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treated for minor injuries. An officer in the second DPD patrol also suffered minor injuries.

After crashing into the two patrol cars, police said Hazell returned to the same Burger King and rammed an unoccupied truck parked in the restaurant's parking lot. Police, already on scene from the original call, attempted to stop Hazell, but the suspect evaded officers and fled toward Commerce City, where he was arrested, according to court documents.

The 23-year-old suspect was arrested in Commerce City after his damaged Honda Pilot broke down on Quebec Parkway. Police said he failed to comply with commands and was forcibly removed from the vehicle.

Hazell’s next scheduled court appearance is Thursday in Denver District Court.