A 31-year-old Franktown man is facing five charges including driving under the influence and first-degree assault for nearly striking a sheriff’s deputy, then leading law officers on a chase down Interstate 25 early July 7. The pursuit ended with both the driver and a sheriff’s deputy crashing at Belleview Avenue.
Jonathan Merage is accused of vehicular eluding, first-degree assault, resisting arrest, reckless driving and DUI in a series of early morning incidents.
An officer first saw the Lexus traveling about 100 mph on Interstate 25 south of Lone Tree just after 1 a.m., according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ron Hanavan. About 10 minutes later, the car was spotted in an apartment complex off Lincoln Avenue east of I-25. Deputies tried to box the Lexus in with their patrol car, but Merage managed to drive away, narrowly missing a deputy.
Deputies pursued Merage north on Interstate 25 to about Belleview, where he crashed into a concrete barrier. Two Douglas County sheriff’s vehicles also collided at the scene. Merage and a deputy both were taken to an area hospital, but were released. Merage was being held in the Douglas County jail.