DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The man accused of trying to evade arrest and injuring a sheriff’s deputy in the process has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Joshua Kane Soto, 32, was sentenced on Friday for the crime. He had pleaded guilty in August to first-degree assault and threatening a police officer with a weapon. He also pleaded guilty to vehicular eluding, which is a Class 4 felony.
Soto had moved to Colorado from California in the fall of 2017, but was already on bond in the state in a felony case. His GPS ankle monitor stopped working and he did not report the issue. Deputies were notified and tried to pick him up on Dec. 27, 2017, but he fled in a rented vehicle.
The following day, deputies attempted to pull him over near C-470 and University Boulevard. He was driving a Chrysler Sebring. But Soto sped away from the deputies, who pursued him onto northbound I-25. He turned around at Arapahoe Road and started heading southbound on the highway toward Douglas County. When a marked patrol car attempted to stop Soto, the man drove the car across several lanes of traffic and rammed the patrol car into a barrier. He then backed up, drove forward and rammed the car a second time.
The deputy inside the car injured his ankle and required stitches for a cut on his forehead.
Other deputies were able to get Soto off the interstate and onto westbound County Lane Road. They stopped the car near Mercury Drive and Saturn Drive and Soto was taken into custody.
“This was a defendant who was going to do whatever he had to to get away from law enforcement,” Deputy District Attorney Zoe Laird told the judge after asking for a sentence of 16 to 20 years in prison. “Even after the defendant is able to speed away (after ramming the deputy), that’s not the end of Soto’s actions. He continues to speed down I-25. This defendant was continually putting officers and the community in danger.”
In court, the deputy who was injured also spoke.
“This job is inherently dangerous and a profession I elected to take on and thoroughly love to do,” he said. “With that said, when unforeseen injuries due to selfish, reckless and dangerous people impact others around me, the impact is hard to define.”
District Attorney George Brauchler said Soto’s behavior endangered everyone on the busy roads of C-470, I-25 and County Line Road.
“Soto’s conduct makes it clear that he chooses himself over our families and our neighbors, even to the extent of harming them and our respected sheriff deputies,” he said. “Prisons are built for such criminals. I am glad he is off our streets.”