GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO – Yesterday afternoon, local law enforcement in Mesa County was made aware that a suspect wanted out of Utah for homicide was possibly in our area. Earlier this afternoon, after numerous attempts to locate and apprehend this suspect, identified as James Main, age 34, he was successfully taken into custody in the northeast area of town. The following is a timeline of events leading up to this arrest. Please keep in mind that this is still a very active investigation, and as details emerge, not only is this information subject to change, but it is very likely to change.
- Saturday, 3:59pm – After receiving a notification that the suspect may be in our area, an officer with the GJPD located the suspect vehicle in the area of Rimrock Avenue and Highway 6&50. The officer initiated a traffic stop, but the suspect failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued. The suspect was observed to be driving erratically, traveling at high rates of speed, and traveling on the wrong side of the road. Ultimately, attempts to stop the suspect vehicle were terminated.
- At approximately 4:16pm, we received a report that a male matching the description of this suspect attempted to carjack the victim in the parking lot of the City Market on 12th Street. The suspect was not successful in stealing the victim’s car, and left the area.
- Dispatch received numerous phone calls from citizens reporting a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle driving erratically around town, and at high rates of speed. Shortly after 5:00pm, a community alert was sent out on social media, advising citizens of the suspect description, as well as the vehicle, and asking witnesses to call 911 with any information.
- While attempts to locate the suspect continued overnight, no new information was developed.
- Sunday, 9:20am – We received a report of an attempted carjacking in the area of N 4th Street and Hill Avenue. The suspect was not successful in stealing the victim’s car, and was reported to have left the area in a silver sedan, which was not the car originally associated with the homicide suspect.
- An extensive search of the area was coordinated with law enforcement, with no success.
- At 10:45am, a hit and run crash in the area of Patterson Road, in between 1st and 7th Streets, was reported. The suspect, driving a silver sedan, hit the victim’s vehicle, and then fled on foot. The suspect in the hit and run was reported to have been seen headed eastbound on Patterson Road on a blue bicycle, also presumed to be stolen.
- At 11:03am, an emergency community notification was sent out, encompassing a 1 mile radius of N 7th Street and Patterson Road, reaching approximately 7900 homes. Citizens were advised to keep their doors locked as law enforcement personnel were actively searching for the suspect.
- At 11:21am, dispatch received a report that a male, believed to be our suspect, entered a home on Bel Air Drive and wanted the keys to the victim’s vehicle. The victim refused, and the suspect, who was reported to be behaving erratically, left on foot.
- At 12:24pm, we received a call from a woman who stated that the suspect had broken into her home. The suspect changed clothes while at the victim’s home, and then stole the victim’s car, along with money and credit cards, and forced the victim to go with him. The victim was able to escape the vehicle at some point on North Avenue, and contacted law enforcement. The victim was uninjured.
- At this point, there was a very heavy concentration of law enforcement all over Mesa County, including units stationed at interstate exits. Shortly before 1:00pm, a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol spotted the stolen vehicle the suspect was believed to be driving, headed northbound on N 15th Street from the area of I70B.
- For approximately the next 11 minutes, the suspect was pursued through the northeast area of town, driving erratically and often in the wrong direction on city streets. Ultimately, law enforcement was able to use a PIT maneuver (Pursuit Immobilization Technique) to stop the vehicle in the area of Glen Court and Gunnison Avenue, and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.
We are incredibly grateful that no injuries to citizens or law enforcement personnel took place as a result of this incident. The suspect was transported to the hospital for evaluation as a precautionary measure, but no serious injuries are suspected.
While there is certainly the potential for a myriad of charges as a result of the suspect’s activities while in our area, this investigation is still very active, with a lot of details to sort through, and a charging decision is pending. We will work with the authorities out of the jurisdiction in Utah where Main is currently wanted for homicide.
We are very appreciative of our community for actively partnering with us to locate this dangerous suspect. We are thankful for the hundreds of “shares” of the information on social media, as well as the valuable information that was called into dispatch as the incident unfolded.
Finally, this is yet another example of the remarkable collaboration we enjoy in Mesa County with our law enforcement partners. The arrest of this suspect is the result of the work done by the Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado State Patrol, the Fruita Police Department, the Palisade Police Department, the DeBeque Marshall’s Office, and the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center.