A Colorado state trooper was struck by one of the vehicles as he was laying tire-puncturing strips in the southbound lanes of E-470, Colorado State Police said. The 43-year-old officer was in stable condition after surgery.
The chase began when Ryan Cole, 28, who has a lengthy criminal record for theft, flight, child abuse and drug offenses, allegedly stole a red 2008 Ford Edge SUV from a Longmont gas station, the Denver Post said. A 4-year-old boy was inside the vehicle still in his pajamas.
Cole headed east on Interstate 76, at times speeding on the road's shoulders to pass slower traffic, and bumped a gold van. The van stopped and he allegedly pulled the driver from the front seat and took off again followed by police and a television news helicopter.
The 4-year-old was left in the SUV and was unharmed.
Cole then headed toward Denver International Airport where the van struck two cars and Cole allegedly carjacked a third vehicle, pulling a woman from the driver's seat. He then hit a 2008 Toyota Camry disabling the third stolen car and took off on foot across an icy parking lot.
Police cornered him as he tried to scale a fence in a strip mall and he fell face down in the snow, the Post said. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Cole was wanted in multiple jurisdictions on auto theft and drug charges.
He was treated at a hospital for a possible drug overdose.