On Saturday, December 8th at 3:36 p.m. a Wyoming Highway Patrol officer attempted to stop a red Dodge Avenger after a traffic violation just outside of Lander city limits.
The Avenger failed to stop and instead accelerated into Lander, traveling at speeds in excess of 90 mph.
After the WHP trooper asked for assistance with the pursuit, several Lander Police Department officers, two Fremont County Sheriff’s, and other Highway Patrol members attempted to pull the vehicle over.
The driver, later identified as 38-year-old Joshua Ewing of Florida, continued to elude police officers while traveling on 3rd Street, failing to yield at several stop signs.
Eventually, the pursuit continued to Hillcrest Drive, then Mortimore Lane toward Highway 789. Near the Mortimore Lane and Highway 789 intersection, a Fremont County Sheriff Deputy deployed spike strips, which the Avenger successfully hit.
The spike strips deflated both front tires of the vehicle. Despite blowing the tires, Ewing traveled south on Highway 789 at speeds of up to 70 mph for several miles. Eventually, both front tires came completely off of the rims. Ewing attempted to continue driving on just the rims at speeds between 55 and 45 mph, eventually turning onto Highway 28. Court documents show that during the pursuit, the Avenger traveled into the oncoming lane several times.
At approximately mile marker 53.5 on Highway 28, the driver pulled to the right side of the road and stopped the vehicle. Officers exited their vehicles, with weapons drawn behind the Avenger.
Ewing complied with instructions to exit the vehicle and place his hands behind his back.
The vehicle’s license plates were from Wyoming, but they did not return as a match on the vehicle. The plates were registered to a Dubois couple for a different vehicle. The VIN on the vehicle returned as a blue Dodge Avenger which was reported stolen in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers revealed in court documents that upon vehicle inspection, it appeared that the car had recently been spray painted red. Several cans of spray paint and sandpaper were located in the vehicle, along with masking tape on the window edges.
Ewing himself had red spray paint on his hands, clothing, and shoes at the time of the arrest.
A set of Texas license plates and another set of Wyoming license plates were also located in the trunk.
Ewing faces one count of wrongful taking or disposing of property, one count of fleeing or attempting to elude police officers and one count of reckless driving. If convicted on all three charges, he faces up to 11 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $11,500.
His preliminary hearing was waived and the matter is moved to District Court for arraignment at a later date.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.