chase 120418
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A chase in eastern El Paso County ended in a field off Highway 94 near Corral Valley Road. Photo courtesy KKTV.

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A 24-year-old man is suspected of smashing his truck into an El Paso County sheriff's deputy's patrol car while under the influence of drugs early Wednesday just north of Colorado Springs Airport, the Sheriff's Office said.

Hector Villa Diaz was arrested on suspicion of crimes including first-degree assault on a peace officer, vehicular eluding and reckless driving, the Sheriff's Office said.

About 2:15 a.m., a deputy working in the area of Peterson Road and Panamint Court saw a pickup driving around the the Super 8 Motel and the Econo Lodge parking lots, the Sheriff's Office said. The deputy saw several equipment violations and tried to stop the truck.

Diaz initially slowed down, but then fled from the deputy, the Sheriff's Office said.

He repeatedly slowed down and did circles in the middle of the street while slamming on his brakes, apparently trying to get deputies to hit him, the Sheriff's Office said. A second deputy showed up to help, and Diaz allegedly ran into the side of his patrol car.

Then Diaz went east on Colorado 94, where he slowed down and drove into a field, the Sheriff's Office said. He hit several items in the field and drove in circles, ultimately crashing his truck.

Deputies entered the field and found the truck unoccupied. Diaz, who is believed to have been under the influence of narcotics, was lying on the ground with a Bible near his head, the Sheriff's Office said.

The deputy's car had minor damage, Gazette news partner KKTV reported. Neither deputy was hurt.

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Ellie is a crime and breaking news reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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