Richard Payne’s erratic behavior Saturday night — repeatedly telling a Colorado Springs police officer to shoot him, then throwing himself onto two vehicles’ hoods on an Interstate 25 ramp — culminated in him allegedly stealing the officer’s cruiser and totaling it, an arrest affidavit says.
Payne, 36, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault of an officer and second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, both felonies, and misdemeanor driving under the influence, court records show.
About 6 p.m., police received a call about a man stumbling into traffic near West Uintah Street and Wood Avenue, the affidavit says. An hour later, Sgt. Jeffrey Maxson found Payne on the West Uintah Street on-ramp to I-25.
The affidavit gives this account:
Maxson parked his marked patrol cruiser, a Ford Crown Victoria, on the ramp with its lights flashing. Payne told Maxson he had taken pills and wanted medical attention, so the officer called for medical help. He asked Payne to sit on the curb and searched him for weapons, finding a folding knife.
Then Payne began “tensing up,” stood and told Maxson to shoot him. Payne ran onto the ramp and threw himself onto the hood of a moving vehicle, then ran toward the intersection with West Uintah Street and hurled himself onto the hood of a larger SUV.
Payne “came aggressively” toward Maxson, again telling the officer to shoot him, then ran toward the cruiser. Maxson chased him to the driver’s side door, and Payne got in, but Maxson held onto the steering wheel.
The officer said he was yelling at Payne during the struggle.
Maxson still was holding the steering wheel when Payne floored the accelerator, and the cruiser reached 25 to 35 mph on the ramp as Payne headed toward a light pole. Based on Payne’s previous requests for Maxson to shoot him, the officer thought Payne intended to drive into the pole.
The officer was dragged more than 50 yards before he finally let go of the steering wheel, fearing the rear tires would run over him as he rolled on the pavement and came to rest in the grass beside the ramp. Maxson said he felt pain in his left shoulder and his head.
Payne lost control of the cruiser, which rolled over in the southbound lanes of I-25 north of Bijou Street, police said.
Another officer who saw the crash found Payne “lying face down on the ground with the top quarter of his body underneath the police cruiser,” the affidavit says. The officer pulled Payne out from under the car and handcuffed him.
Payne and Maxson had nonlife-threatening injuries, police said. Payne remained in El Paso County jail Monday on $100,000 bond, inmate records showed.
The Gazette’s Leslie James contributed to this report.