Trending Topics

Denver deputy cited in road-rage van race

Deputy James Grimes is facing charges of reckless endangerment after driving a van with three inmates in the back at more than 90 mph

Rachel Riley
The Gazette

DENVER — A Denver sheriff’s deputy is facing charges of reckless endangerment after authorities say he drove a van with three inmates in the back at more than 90 mph through the Interstate 25 “Gap” while apparently racing with a drunken driver last week.

Deputy James Grimes was cited with speeding 40 mph or more over the limit in a construction zone, reckless driving and three counts of reckless endangerment, according to a news release from Colorado State Patrol.

Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor that applies to conduct that creates “a substantial risk of serious bodily injury.” It carries a potential jail sentence of up to six months.

Grimes has been placed on administrative leave, said Denver Sheriff Department spokeswoman Daria Serna. He and another deputy who was riding in the van “were immediately reassigned,” Serna said.

“Due to the ongoing criminal process and subsequent internal investigation, we are not able to provide additional information at this time,” she said in a statement.

Serna couldn’t immediately say how long Grimes has been a deputy.

At about 12:05 p.m. Thursday, the Colorado State Patrol received a report of the van and a red pickup “driving aggressively” and “possibly racing and weaving in and out of traffic” on I-25 northbound near Monument, the news release says.

State Patrol aircraft pilots saw the vehicles speeding around other cars and relayed information to troopers on the ground who stopped the pickup near Castle Rock. The driver, Daniel Franklin, 27, of Pueblo, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He also was cited with driving with a revoked license, speeding at 40 mph or more over the limit in a construction zone and failing to present proof of insurance, the Colorado State Patrol said.

Grimes was stopped farther north on I-25, where troopers questioned and released him. He was allowed to continue transporting the prisoners while the State Patrol proceeded with its investigation, said Sgt. Blake White, an agency spokesman.

White did not know where the van picked up the inmates or what the vehicle’s final destination was.

No injuries were reported, White said.