The petite auto theft suspect who led Colorado State Patrol troopers on a wild chase Friday through De Beque Canyon that included a dip in the Colorado River and the appropriation of a trooper's vehicle appeared in Mesa County Court on Monday on a host of possible charges.
Venessa Jaramillo, 29, began the chain of events at 3:40 p.m. Friday when she crashed a 2016 Honda Pilot stolen in Silverthorne into a concrete divider near the Beaver Tail tunnels along Interstate 70.
Troopers arrived to find she and her passenger had fled, and one trooper wrote in a report that he could see Jaramillo swimming in the river nearby. Law enforcement scrambled to some railroad tracks that Jaramillo eventually made her way to, and they soon after took her into custody.
A trooper reported that Jaramillo — 4-feet 11-inches tall, and 112 pounds — kept trying to jerk away and slip out of her handcuffs that had her hands behind her back as they walked the quarter-mile back to the highway, and at one point had to be carried by law enforcement officers.
Jaramillo, according to a trooper, was placed in the back seat of a Palisade Police Department cruiser, and then transferred to the back seat a Colorado State Patrol corporal's patrol car.
An affidavit for Jaramillo's arrest does not detail how she came to take control of the corporal's car, but it does describe the dangerous chase amid busy interstate traffic that ensued, with speeds reaching 105 mph.
Jaramillo apparently drove at a high rate of speed on the left-hand side of the two-lane highway, turning on the police car's lights and sirens multiple times to get traffic to move aside, ensuring even higher speeds.
She crashed into an embankment while also taking out an 80-foot stretch of guardrail at the foot of De Beque Canyon about 5:30 p.m., according to the State Patrol.
The trooper who found her hiding in some nearby brush noted that Jaramillo's handcuffs were now linked up in the front, shedding further light on how she may have come to commandeer the trooper's vehicle.
Jaramillo was intoxicated, profane, uncooperative, and at times laughing about her actions after being arrested, according to the State Patrol.
She was advised Monday on possible charges including first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, DUI, failing to report an accident and impersonating a police officer. A $25,000 cash-only bond was issued in her case.
The passenger who fled the initial crash was later identified as Nickolas Mascarenas, 36. He was picked up Friday evening while walking the streets of Palisade.