Jan 31, 2024

Colorado suspect detained in Trego County after police chase

Posted Jan 31, 2024 6:26 PM
Thomas Allan Villarruel
Thomas Allan Villarruel

Hays Post

A suspect facing charges in Colorado led the Kansas Highway Patrol in a chase Monday on Interstate 70.

According to a Trego County Sherriff's Office Facebook post, at about 5:19 p.m., the suspect's vehicle was located west of WaKeeney in Trego County.

A video from Jan. 29 allegedly depicts 30-year-old Thomas Allan Villarruel driving against oncoming traffic while being pursued by several police vehicles.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Tod Hileman said Villarruel was wanted for an alleged offense when an attempt to locate was broadcast at about 3:15 p.m.

"The vehicle matched the description of a suspect that was wanted out of Colorado for a domestic violence crime," Hileman said.

Villarruel was driving a 1993 Chevy C15 pickup when the Kansas Highway Patrol initiated a traffic stop at 5:59 p.m. The suspect immediately fled, Hileman said.

The vehicle crossed over the median into oncoming traffic, leading to a chase with officers.

"Troopers attempted to end the pursuit by pushing him into a guardrail, which they were successful in doing, but he was still able to drive down the highway," he said.

Villarruel continued westbound before crossing the median again and heading eastbound toward WaKeeney, according to the Facebook post.

The WaKeeney Police Department deployed stop sticks at the 127-mile marker, slowing the pursuit and allowing officers to disable the vehicle around the 129-mile marker. 

"It's when the WaKeeney Police Department spiked his tires that a second Kansas Highway Patrol vehicle spun him out and ended the pursuit," Hileman said.

Willarruel was apprehended and taken into custody without any additional incidents, as reported by the Trego County Sheriff's Office.

Pending charges include fleeing and eluding law enforcement and engaging in reckless driving, Hileman said.

The Trego County Sheriff's Office thanks the Kansas Highway Patrol and the WaKeeney Police Department for their assistance in the incident.