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Suspect in Lakewood chase and arson identified

Posted: 8:53 AM, Apr 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-24 00:28:37Z

A man accused of injuring two police agents and setting fire to a building in Lakewood has been identified as Brandon Besson, 28.

Besson was being held on suspicion of numerous charges including attempted first-degree murder, second-degree assault on a police officer, arson, burglary, vehicular eluding and improper turn.

Two Lakewood Police officers were injured trying to arrest Besson during a traffic stop late Friday afternoon.

The traffic stop happened in the area of West Colfax Avenue and Lamar Street at about 4:21 p.m. When officers tried to contact Besson who was driving a U-Haul van, he took off and dragged one of the officers, according to Lakewood Police Sgt. TJ Jacobson.  

That officer was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect then tried to escape on foot and went into a building half-a-mile west, in the area of West Colfax Avenue and Saulsbury Street, setting the building on fire before attempting to escape, according to Jacobson.

The owner of the business there, GTA Services, said there were multiple people inside at the time. However, the suspect snuck inside and set the fire without them knowing. 

"The people inside didn't even know he was in the building," said Chris Torres. "They just noticed the cops were outside with guns. You know, yelling at people in the building. They were scared because they didn't know why there was guns outside. Next thing you know, smoke was rolling through the building and they couldn't breath."

A Lakewood city inspector estimated there was upwards of $50,000 worth of damage to the property.

As Besson tried to leave the building, he was taken into custody by another officer. That officer suffered minor injuries in the process. 

"He (Besson) ran fast out of the building, by time he got maybe half way down the street, they were on him and the fire was already started " said Tony Cofran who used his cell phone to record what happened.  

West Metro firefighters were able to rescue two dogs from the burning building.

No one was injured in the fire.  

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