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An armed and dangerous suspect committing crimes from the New Mexico border to Flagstaff was captured east of Flagstaff after two pursuits. 33-year-old Brian H. Hawes of Los Molinos, CA and Geneva, OH was captured by Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies, Flagstaff Police Officers and Arizona Department of Public Safety Troopers in the area of Townsend Winona Road. Code Red was used to alert citizens to public safety information and developing events associated as the incident evolved.
The incident began around 11:30 pm on Tuesday, February 27 when the Arizona Department of Public Safety received a 911 call from a citizen reporting two vehicles driving recklessly. The report was that two vehicles appeared to be racing at or over 100 mph. The vehicles had been observed traveling on Interstate 40 just inside the Arizona border around Sanders, AZ. The vehicles were described as a black or dark gray Audi with a California license plate and a blue Ford Mustang with an unknown temporary plate.
Approximately 14 minutes after the initial report, an Arizona DPS Trooper observed the blue Mustang and stopped the vehicle without incident. The driver was arrested without incident on charges of suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. The driver gave troopers information about the driver of the Audi, saying he had known the other driver for a couple of weeks, but refused to give the other driver’s name.
At 1:30 AM on Wednesday, February 28, DPS received reports from a truck driver travelling on I-40 near Winslow, AZ that a black or dark colored vehicle was swerving in the lanes of traffic. He reported that the someone in that vehicle had fired shots with a handgun at his truck. DPS Troopers interviewed the truck driver and inspected his truck.
At the time of the report from the truck driver, DPS dispatch issued an Attempt to Locate for the suspect vehicle to area law enforcement.
Around 3:40 am, the Flagstaff Police/Sheriff 911 Dispatch Center received a call from a citizen reporting he and his family were driving into Flagstaff on Leupp Road when an erratic driver shot at them. The victims reported a smaller black car was driving erratically ahead of them and continually applied the brakes for no apparent reason. The suspect vehicle drove ahead of them and out of sight. When they approached a rise in the road, they found the suspect vehicle stopped in the middle of the road and a person standing outside the car. The person began to shoot at the victim’s vehicle.
Deputies believed the dark colored car from the incident at Winslow was possibly the same vehicle as involved in the shooting incident on Leupp Road. Two Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Leupp Road and located a black Audi travelling south towards Flagstaff. The Deputies followed and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled. The suspect reached speeds of only 35 mph due to snowy, ice packed roads and white out conditions.
Law enforcement officers coordinated efforts to stop the vehicle. DPS Troopers set up a roadblock with spikes at Townsend-Winona Road and I-40, and Flagstaff Police Officers set up spikes at Townsend-Winona Road and Cosnino Road.
The suspect vehicle turned off Leupp Road travelling west bound on Townsend-Winona Road. The suspect ran over the spikes set up by Flagstaff Police. The vehicle suffered three flat tires but the driver continued west to the area of the Mountain View Ranchos subdivision. The driver jumped out of the vehicle and fled south into the wooded area near homes.
Sheriff’s Deputies, Police Officers and Troopers tracked the suspect’s foot prints in the snow. The suspect had entered several residential yards, crossed fences and walked up to the several vehicles apparently checking for unlocked doors. Officers followed the suspect’s tracks until they stopped where tracks indicated a vehicle had recently driven away. Deputies made contact with the home owners who found their Jeep Wrangler was missing. Officers checked the area for the stolen Jeep. They received reports from area neighbors that a Jeep was seen driving several streets away. Officers converged on the area, locating the stolen Jeep. A short pursuit ensued.
The suspect drove through several residential yards and onto Townsend-Winona Road fleeing east bound. He came back to the location of the Audi which he had previously abandoned. The suspect drove off road through a right of way fence, and the Jeep became stuck on a pile of rocks. The suspect surrendered without further incident.
The suspect is identified as Brian H. Hawes, with addresses out of California and Ohio. Hawes was booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility for Felony Flight from Pursuing Law Enforcement, Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, as well as an outstanding arrest warrant for drugs and weapons charges from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms in Ohio.
Investigators believe that Hawes is the suspect of the several above described incidents reported. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating the incidents along Interstate 40 and the Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incidents on Leupp Road and Townsend-Winona Road.
Throughout the incident, Coconino County Code Red was used to alert citizens of the developing events. The following messages were sent via Code Red:
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Jon Paxton (928) 226-5050Flagstaff Police Department, Sergeant Cory Runge (928) 556-2300 Arizona Department of Public Safety, Public Affairs Unit, (602) 223-2678