Saturday’s high-speed chase nears triple digits


Staff Writer

Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office personnel are seeking a suspect who engaged deputies in a high-speed chase last Saturday, Nov. 23.

That suspect, James Rotureau, 33, of Pagosa Springs and Monte Vista, is now wanted on nine charges.

The following information is taken from ACSO incident narratives.

According to the narratives, the incident began Friday, Nov. 22, when a male reported to ACSO Deputy Rich Richmond that medication had been stolen from a motorhome while the victim was out of town.

That victim then gave Richmond the description of a car he believed belonged to the suspect, whom the victim called “James.”

The next day, Nov. 23, shortly before 4 p.m., Richmond saw a vehicle in the Vista subdivision fitting the description given by the victim, driven by a male. That vehicle was a black 1991 Saab.

Richmond relayed information about the vehicle to Archuleta County Combined Dispatch, and was informed the registered owner was Rotureau. Dispatch also advised that Rotureau had a suspended license.

By that point, Richmond was unable to locate the vehicle, and a call was sent out for law enforcement to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

A short time later, deputy Brian Keegan located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop at Aspen Village, telling the driver, who was identified as Rotureau, that another officer needed to talk to him about a previous incident.

After Richmond arrived on the scene, he approached the vehicle, which held Rotureau and a pregnant female.

Richmond asked the suspect to turn off the engine and exit the vehicle, but Rotureau reportedly shifted the vehicle into drive and sped away, despite warnings from Richmond to stop.

At that point, Richmond drew his service weapon.

Rotureau then allegedly ran the stop sign at the intersection of Aspen Village and Cornerstone drives before making a u-turn, running the stop sign again, and running a red light at Aspen Village and U.S. 160, turning westbound onto U.S. 160.

According to the narrative, Rotureau almost caused an accident at the Aspen Village and U.S. 160 intersection.

A pursuit of the suspect was then initiated, with speeds initially listed as 80 to 90 mph, but listed as at least 99 mph when the pursuit was terminated at the command of ACSO Undersheriff Rich Valdez.

Throughout the pursuit, the narrative reports that the suspect’s vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic, crossed double yellow lines and passed other vehicles on the right.

The report indicates that, after the termination of the chase, the suspect continued onto Turkey Springs Road, where the female in the car was left at the side of the road. That female was later interviewed by Richmond.

An arrest warrant for Rotureau was issued following the incident and includes a variety of charges:

• Felony menacing;

• Vehicular eluding;

• Obstructing a peace officer;

• Reckless driving;

• Reckless endangerment;

• Driving under restraint;

• Failed to observe traffic control device;

• Passed on the right when not permitted; and

• Speeding 45 mph over the speed limit.

Anyone with information on this incident or any other crime is asked to contact Archuleta Crime Stoppers by calling 264-2133, visiting, or by texting “ACCST” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).