Deputies arrest man after 40-mile pursuit from Prescott Valley into Skull Valley
Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man Thursday night on charges of fleeing from law enforcement and four counts of endangerment after he refused to stop for officers for 40 miles as he drove from Prescott Valley into Skull Valley.
Deputies booked Steven Cox, 33, of Bagdad, into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde where he remains on a $15,000 bond.
At 10:15 p.m., deputies saw a blue Ford Aerostar minivan driven by Cox leave the Circle K parking lot near Prescott East Highway and drive onto Highway 69 where it wove between lanes, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
A deputy turned on the patrol car's emergency lights and tried to stop Cox at a red light on Highway 69 at Walker Road, but when the deputy tried to speak with Cox, he sped away, D'Evelyn said.
Cox drove at speeds up to 55 miles per hour through Prescott and ran several red lights before heading west on Whipple Street.
Deputies began following the vehicle from a distance because of safety concerns.
At the intersection of Whipple Street at Ruth Street, Cox stopped for the red light, and then ran it, causing several vehicles to take action to avoid a collision, D'Evelyn said.
Cox continued west and ran red lights on Iron Springs Road at Gail Gardner and Williamson Valley. Deputies renewed their pursuit as Cox continued towards Skull Valley and requested deputies there to set up stop sticks, D'Evelyn said.
The stop stick deflated all four tires on Cox's van, but he continued driving at speeds ranging from 20 mph to 55 mph as the left front tire separated from the rim and crossed the center line several times, D'Evelyn said.
Cox turned right on County Road 10 after running the stop sign, the left front rim came apart leaving large chunks of metal in the roadway, and the car finally stopped at milepost 32, D'Evelyn said.
All the van's windows were closed and Cox refused to exit as deputies commanded, so a deputy broke out a rear window, had Cox show his hands and handcuffed him, D'Evelyn said.
Deputies said Cox did not show signs of intoxication, but he did tell deputies he is diabetic and may have had an issue with his blood sugar level. Urine and blood test results are pending, D'Evelyn said.
Cox told deputies he knew they were following him, but said he had a lot on his mind and did not feel like stopping, D'Evelyn said.