Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fla. Punks Busted in Colorado: What Were They Thinking?

Apart from the DOW tanking, the most oft-repeated news this past week focussed on the "Bonnie and Clyde" antics of the Dougherty siblings, including: Lee-Grace Dougherty, 29, her brother, Ryan Dougherty, 21, and her half-brother, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26. The trio gained notoriety after shooting their way out of Zephyrhills, Florida (near Tampa, and a place better known for "The House of Sandwich" by college kids), in a high speed chase (in which the pursuing cop car blew a tire) then using AK-47s and Mac-11s to rob a bank in Valdosta, GA. After that incident, which put them on the FBI's "Most Wanted List", they evidently disappeared for four days. But, their photos were plastered on billboards across the U.S., east of the Mississippi.

The question is, why did these young Florida punks veer off and drive to Colorado? Don't they know this state is the last bastion of the Old West where much of the Old West code applies? I mean, people here pack heat everywhere they go, thanks to a 2004 law, and the state's "Make my Day" law is famous nationally (where you can blast any intruder that enters your domecile if you suspect he or she is a threat.) If a gang enters, you can blast away and "let God sort 'em out".

Unfortunately for these would-be renegades, their own stupidity gave them away as well as their wrong choice of state (the latter noted by one FBI agent quoted in the Denver Post). They'd actually have likely been better off heading for the Appalachians if they wanted to hide out, as opposed to anywhere in the Rocky Mountain empire. People here really watch out for each other, and they also don't miss a detail or face, no matter how minor it may appear to others. Their radar ramps up especially when any desperadoes are on the loose and the news circulates that they're in this state.(As was the case two years ago, when 3 escaped AZ convicts chose to come here!)

Their first error was entering Colorado Springs and buying camping gear at the REI store near the I-25 exit. If they wanted or intended to use camping gear they'd have been better off stockpiling it in their Florida home, like they did their weapons as opposed to buying it in a different state where they ought to have known residents would already be on the lookout (especially after the incident 2 years ago, in which three escaped Arizona convicts ended up in Colo. and were also busted)!

Their second error was in traveling to Canon City (highest concentration of prisons in the state, including the the maximum security federal prison now housing Ted Kaszcinski) and going to a Walmart to try to purchase ammo for their AK-47s. What? Are they nuts? Weren't they aware that every Walmart in the state now does exhaustive background checks after the 1999 Columbine shootings, in Littleton, CO? What were they drinking? Maybe some of that "vitamin water" they also purchased at a convenience store.

In the end, the trio were busted - get this - by an off duty Sheriff's deputy who was working as a construction worker near Pueblo, just down the road on the I-25 from Colorado Springs. The off duty officer recognized the trio leaving the convenience store, and they saw him regarding them suspiciously and opened fire. He then relayed his tip to the State Patrol and realizing these punks liked to race with cops in pursuit, got ahead of them and placed spike sticks in their path.

Sure enough, as the police and other law enforcement pursued, Lee Grace Dougherty opened fire with her AK-47 from their white 2006 Subaru Impreza, but didn't see the spikes up ahead. Their car hit them near Walsenberg, at 100 mph, and the tires blew out, sending the car careeening over a nearby fence abutting the interstate. The turnover sent all their weapons sprawling onto the highway, but Lee -Grace, whose most famous Flickr quote is:

I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars and cause mayhem with my siblings

managed to just get out get off a few rounds with the law before she took one in the leg. Meanwhile, one brother, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, managed to get away on foot, but was taken down by five beefy construction workers who recognized him. According to one, interviewed on KOAA, 5 last night:

I told the punk, 'you ain't going anywhere so just give yourself up!' But he took off and my pals and I went after him and took him down.

The kid suffered a head injury in the subsequent fracas, and was taken to a nearby medical center for treatment, along with Big Sis. I suppose the moral of this story, for what it's worth, is Florida punks and hoods had best not choose Colorado as their final destination.

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