by Marty Mayfield, KRTN multi-media & Eric Mullens, WJ staff writer
WALSENBURG/ RATON — Motorists traveling on I-25 Sunday, Jan. 21 had more to contend with than just ice and snow. A suspected auto thief, led authorities on a multi-county chase from Pueblo’s north side south into New Mexico, at times traveling south in the northbound lanes of the Interstate highway.
Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman told the World Journal this week that regional authorities had received a BOLO (be on the lookout) and officer safety notice on Sunday concerning Norman Michael Simpson, who allegedly stole two vehicles in Pueblo County and was headed south on the highway during the height of the weekend storm. The information received indicated Simpson may have been homicidal or suicidal. Sheriff’s deputies in Pueblo, Huerfano and Las Animas counties, along with the Colorado State Patrol, Colfax County Sheriff’s Office and Raton Police were all involved in the incident at one time or another.
Simpson was finally apprehended in Union County, New Mexico after he was alleged to have carjacked a vehicle at approximately 4 pm Sunday at the Raton County Club. Simpson allegedly pulled a crowbar and threatened the family before taking their vehicle.
The multi-state, multi-jurisdiction incident began earlier on Sunday when Simpson, driving a black Kia sedan eluded Pueblo authorities and continued south on the Interstate into Huerfano and Las Animas counties. By this time it is believed Simpson had stolen another vehicle and abandoned the black Kia. Simpson crossed the Interstate median a number of times, continuing southbound in the northbound lanes of traffic. No one was injured in the incident and no vehicle accidents were reported due to Simpson’s alleged reckless driving.
Law enforcement agencies across the region were responding to dozens of crashes and slide-offs due to the adverse weather conditions as Simpson’s criminal episode played out across the south central and southern region of I-25. Simpson allegedly engaged in a few yelled conversations with deputies who were attempting to pull him over in Las Animas County. A Huerfano County deputy told the World Journal that at one point, Simpson crossed the median of the highway and headed towards law enforcement vehicles head on.
Simpson was transported after being captured to the Union County Detention Center where numerous charges from both states are pending.