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Colorado boy, 4, safe after being taken by car jacker, police chase

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A 4-year-old pajama-clad boy was left unattended in a vehicle that was carjacked by a fugitive and survived a high-speed police chase in the Denver area on Wednesday, police said.

The suspect later carjacked two other vehicles and struck a police officer before his arrest.

He crashed one of the vehicles and attempted to flee on foot following a 75-mile (120-km) pursuit that was captured live by a Denver TV station helicopter during the morning rush hour, said Trooper Nate Reid, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol.

"The boy was not injured but unfortunately one of troopers was," Reid said.

Reid said the injured officer was struck as he was on foot deploying so-called stop sticks in an attempt to halt one of the stolen vehicles. The trooper was taken to hospital but was expected to fully recover from his injuries.

Douglas County Undersheriff Tony Spurlock identified the suspect as 28-year-old Ryan Stone, who is from the Denver area.

Spurlock said Stone sustained minor injuries and will he held on suspicion of car jacking, felony eluding and attempted second-degree murder of an officer.

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Reid said the incident started in Longmont, about 30 miles north of Denver. He said Stone, who was being sought by police after failing to appear in court on drug charges, stole a sport utility vehicle with the boy inside and raced south on Interstate 25 toward Denver. The boy's mother had left the child in the vehicle while she went into a store.

Officers pursued the vehicle at speeds over 100 miles per hour before backing off as the SUV approached the Denver metropolitan area, Reid said.

In the town of Brighton, the man rammed a minivan and yanked the woman driver from the vehicle and fled. He left the pajama-clad boy in the SUV, the TV footage showed.

The boy was then reunited with his mother, a Brighton Police spokesman said.

The suspect then rammed another vehicle near Denver International Airport and pulled the driver from her car and fled again, ultimately crashing it but was then caught on foot.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Grant McCool)

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