A wild ride -- and a second incident of eluding law enforcement officers -- earned Pedro Lopez a five-year prison sentence Monday.
Lopez, 30, of Grand Junction was arrested after a twisting trek through Delta on March 19. While law enforcement officers hung back, maintaining visual contact with his vehicle, he sped down 9th Street Hill, barreled under a fence at Delta Middle School and crashed into an irrigation pump house. He emerged from his Ford Taurus with his hands in the air and was taken into custody without incident. He has been held in the Delta County Jail since his arrest and will receive credit for time served.
In Delta District Court, Judge Steven Schultz and Lopez's two defense attorneys sorted through a sentencing hearing that consolidated the March incident with other felony and misdemeanor cases in Delta and Montrose counties. A total of five cases were folded into the plea agreement, which includes mandatory parole.
Deputy district attorney Barb Sanford also requested restitution of $22,908, to cover damage to the fence and replacement of the irrigation pump house.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.