Cottonwood man eludes police but not spikes

A Cottonwood man led Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a pursuit early Monday morning through parts of two counties.

The pursuit terminated in Flagstaff only after the suspect’s vehicle would no longer drive on its tire rims.

According to YCSO reports, Deputy Robert Szechter was on patrol in the area of Beaver Head Flat Road near Cornville when he observed what he believed to be a stranded motorist.

A male subject was parked on the side road in a 1990 Mazda 323, which had its hood propped up. Szechter pulled over to help. The subject made eye contact with Szechter, put his vehicle hood down, got into his car and then sped off.

Szechter followed the car for a short time. The vehicle then sped off at high speed, according to the report. Szechter activated his emergency overhead lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. However, the suspect continued to evade for the next 100 miles leading deputies through Cornville, Village of Oak Creek and north toward Flagstaff. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Flagstaff Police Officers were notified.

At one point, deputies from Coconino County set up “stop sticks” on northbound Interstate 17 where three tires on the suspect’s car were punctured. However, the suspect continued to drive north on the interstate then east on Interstate 40. The suspect then exited at Country Club Road where his vehicle became disabled.

The suspect, later identified as Aaron Wagner, 32, of Cottonwood, was taken into custody after allegedly resisting arrest at the scene. He was later transported to Yavapai County Jail.

Wagner was charged with aggravated assault, fleeing a pursuing law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and probation violation.

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