As a statewide search was on for a suspected serial rapist, local law enforcement officials were ready and waiting for the man to enter Routt County.
Shortly after an all-points lookout bulletin went out for an alleged rapist, who was reported traveling on Interstate 70 through Dillon, local law enforcement agencies began to organize at about 10 p.m. Friday.
Steamboat Springs police Sgt. Nick Bosick said officials with the police department, Routt County Sheriff's Office and Colorado State Patrol met in a grocery store parking lot to put a surveillance system in place in case the man entered Routt County. At the time of the bulletin, Bosick said local law enforcement was unsure whether the man was Brent J. Brents, the 35-year-old man suspected of raping six women and girls during the past week in a Denver neighborhood.
"We got the boys together and had a pow wow -- if this happened, what are we going to do?" Bosick said.
From the lookout bulletin, local law enforcement officials knew the suspect was in a 2004 gray Mazda, and a cell phone connection had pinpointed him in Dillon. Local law agencies then heard that the cell phone had put the suspect somewhere along the Continental Divide.
"That is when all of our hairs started to stick up," Bosick said.
Bosick said one sheriff's deputy sat at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass on U.S. Highway 40, two state patrol officers were at the base of the pass, and the police department had five patrol officers on duty ready to help. The sheriff's office also was working with the Oak Creek Police Department to patrol Colorado Highway 131, another possible route the suspect could have taken from Dillon, Bosick said.
If the suspected vehicle was spotted, the intent was for the sheriff's deputy at the top of the pass to follow the vehicle to the base, making sure they got down the pass safely. At the base, the state patrol troopers would put their lights on and follow the vehicle, Bosick said. If the vehicle did not stop when the state patrol started to follow, the police had plans to lay out a strip of road spikes, which would have punctured the vehicle's tires.
The plan was to have the suspect stopped and in custody before entering the east side of town.
All the law enforcement officials were in place when they got the call that the suspect, who is thought to be Brents, had been arrested just east of Glenwood Springs on I-70.
"We feel really happy with the way it came out," Routt County Sgt. Troy McDaniel said.