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UPDATED: Authorities Say Sibling Suspects Captured in Colorado

PUEBLO, Colo. — Three fugitive siblings accused of shooting at police in Florida and robbing a bank in Georgia were captured Wednesday in Colorado after crashing their car into a highway barrier during a high-speed chase.

Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21; Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26; and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, were targets of a nationwide search after they were accused of the crime spree.

Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg after the crash when she pointed a gun at an officer, authorities said. All three suspects were being treated for injuries at a hospital before being transferred to Pueblo County Jail.

“Ladies and gentleman, I’m proud to say we won,” Pasco County, Fla., Sheriff Chris Nocco said. “We continuously said that if these three fugitives wanted a battle with law enforcement, we would win that battle. And that’s what happened today.”

He called the Doughertys “very, very dangerous people” and their capture a tremendous relief.

No troopers were hurt during the 20-mile chase on Interstate 25 that at times exceeded 100 mph. Shots were fired from the vehicle during the pursuit near Walsenburg, 145 miles south of Denver, officials said.

Some of Nocco’s deputies were expected to fly to Colorado to interview the trio.

FBI Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus said the three face federal warrants in Florida and Georgia and that Colorado charges were expected. Officials had not decided how to handle extradition.

The siblings’ mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, Fla., said she had no comment on the arrests. Last week, she urged the trio to give up before there was bloodshed.

A citizen tipped the Colorado State Patrol about 9 a.m. that the suspects were believed to be in Colorado City, about 25 miles north of Walsenburg. Their vehicle was later seen at a nearby campground, but the suspects fled before deputies arrived.

A deputy then spotted the car at a gas station, and the chase began. Troopers deployed spiked stop sticks on the interstate, causing the car to roll over and crash into a guardrail, patrol Lt. Col. Anthony Padilla said.

Two of the three suspects, including Lee Dougherty, were arrested at the scene. A third fled on foot into Walsenburg but was arrested without incident by state troopers.

The arrests came a day after the FBI warned citizens the trio had likely been spotted buying camping gear in Colorado Springs. Alerts went out to dozens of law enforcement agencies.

“I was worried about the safety of our troopers,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Col. James M. Wolfinbarger. “To have them shooting at you and continue the pursuit, those men are brave.”

It was a similarly dangerous chase in Florida on Aug. 2 that launched the manhunt.

An officer tried to pull a car over for speeding northeast of Tampa, Fla. A five-mile chase followed, with speeds up to 100 mph, and at least two people in the fleeing car squeezed off 20 or more gunshots.

A bullet burst the patrol car’s front tire and the suspects got away, Nocco said. The officer wasn’t injured.

Hours later, about 210 miles north along Interstate 75, three people wearing masks charged into Certus Bank in Valdosta, Ga. One of the robbers brandished an AK-47 while another was photographed by a security camera waving a machine pistol, the FBI said.

The robbers fired shots into the ceiling then fled with an undisclosed amount of money in a white sedan similar to the Subaru in the Florida chase.

Sheriff’s investigators linked the siblings to the case after they found an ankle monitor near the scene of the car chase. Ryan Dougherty had been issued the monitor after being convicted of sending sexually explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl. Records show he had registered as a sex offender Aug. 1.

Bell previously told The Associated Press her son was upset by his probation terms and feared the conviction would prohibit him from seeing his newborn son.

Nocco said all three siblings had been living together in Lacoochee, Fla., about 45 miles northeast of Tampa, and each had a criminal record. Lee Dougherty has charges pending against her in Florida for hit and run and had previously been charged with battery, Nocco said, and Dylan Dougherty Stanley had been charged with marijuana possession.

Tracing prior background checks run by gun sellers, police confirmed that Ryan Dougherty bought an AK-47 assault rifle — like the one used in the bank robbery — at a pawn shop two years ago. Similar checks showed his brother also owned guns.

Police posted photos of the suspects on electronic billboards across the Southeast. Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress said it seemed the three had a “death wish.”

Lee Grace Elizabeth Dougherty’s first brush with the law appears to have been last May after she was involved in a traffic accident on Interstate 95 in Florida’s Space Coast.

At the accident scene, Dougherty began screaming and yelling at her boyfriend. Deputies placed her in a patrol car, trying to calm her down, but she kicked and tried to head-butt a deputy, attempted to break out a car window with her foot and spit in the face of a state trooper, according to the accident report.

She was arrested for driving under the influence and battery on a law enforcement officer. She had been driving with a suspended driver’s license and she refused to take drug and alcohol tests.

Just 10 days later, she was involved in another traffic accident and charged with driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident. Her boyfriend, who was in the car with her, was arrested for an earlier domestic violence charge in which Dougherty was the victim. While in the trooper’s patrol car, she put a seat belt around her neck and pulled it as if to choke herself, the incident report said.

Lee Dougherty pleaded guilty to the DUI charge and to driving with a suspended license last month. She was sentenced to a year of probation.

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Associated Press reporters Russ Bynum in Georgia and Mitch Stacy, Harry Weber and Michael Schneider in Florida contributed to this report.

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Aug. 10, 2011 1:30 p.m.

PUEBLO, Colo. — Three fugitive siblings wanted in a crime spree in Florida and Georgia were captured Wednesday in Colorado after leading officers on a high-speed chase and crashing their car into a barrier on a highway, authorities said.

The trio — Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21; Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26; and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29 — had been targets of a nationwide search after alleged crimes last week in which they were accused of shooting at a police car during a chase and robbing a bank with assault weapons. FBI Special Agent Steve Emmett confirmed that the three were in custody in Colorado.

No troopers were hurt during the high-speed chase on Interstate 25 on Wednesday, though the three siblings from Florida were being treated for unspecified injuries at a hospital in Walsenburg, Colo., officials said.

“Ladies and gentleman, I’m proud to say we won,” Pasco County, Fla., Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a news conference following their capture. “We continuously said that if these three fugitives wanted a battle with law enforcement, we would win that battle. And that’s what happened today.”

He called the siblings “very, very dangerous people” and their capture a tremendous relief.

“It’s uncommon that we would come across these three siblings who would have an arsenal and (are) not afraid to use it,” he said.

Some of Nocco’s deputies were expected to fly to Colorado on Wednesday night to interview the trio.

The Colorado State Patrol said that a citizen tipped troopers at about 9 a.m. that the suspects were believed to be in Colorado City, about 25 miles north of Walsenburg. The vehicle was spotted a half-hour later at a campground near Colorado City. The suspects fled before Pueblo County deputies arrived, but a deputy spotted the car later at a gas station near I-25.

The car took off and a 20-mile chase ensued. Troopers deployed stop sticks north of Walsenburg, and the car crashed into a barrier, officials said.

Two of the three were arrested at the scene. A third fled on foot into Walsenburg but was arrested without incident by state troopers, trooper Richard Krantz said.

Patrol Chief Col. James M. Wolfinbarger said he had been concerned that the search for the fugitives would be dangerous.

“I had a strong concern. I was worried about the safety of our troopers. To have them shooting at you and continue the pursuit, those men are brave,” he said.

The Dougherty siblings’ mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, Fla., spoke briefly with The Associated Press on the phone Wednesday.

“I’m sorry. I’m making no comment at this time. Bye,” said Bell, who last week had urged the trio to give up before there was bloodshed.

A hunt for the trio began last week after an officer northeast of Tampa, Fla., tried to pull a car over for speeding. A five-mile chase ensued, with speeds up to 100 mph, and at least two people in the fleeing car squeezed off 20 or more gunshots. A bullet burst the patrol car’s front tire and the suspects got away, Nocco said. The officer wasn’t injured.

A few hours later, about 210 miles north along Interstate 75, three people wearing masks charged into the Certus Bank in Valdosta, Ga. One of the robbers brandished an AK-47 assault rifle while another was photographed by a security camera waving a machine pistol, the FBI said. The robbers fired shots into the ceiling, then fled with an undisclosed amount of money in a white sedan similar to the Subaru in the Florida chase.

The search shifted to Colorado after the sighting in Colorado Springs, where authorities say they believe the trio made a purchase at an outdoors store and authorities said they believed they could be headed to a campground or rural area to try to avoid capture.

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Associated Press reporters Russ Bynum in Georgia and Mitch Stacy in Florida contributed to this story.

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Aug. 10, 2011 12:35 p.m.

By The Associated Press

DENVER — Three fugitive siblings being sought for alleged crimes in Florida and Georgia were captured Wednesday in southern Colorado, crashing their vehicle on Interstate 25 after a short chase during which they fired shots at their pursuers, authorities said.

The trio — Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21; Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26; and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29 — had been targets of a weeklong nationwide search. FBI Special Agent Steve Emmett confirmed that the three were in custody in Colorado.

The Colorado State Patrol said the trio was captured near Walsenburg, in southern Colorado. That’s about 85 miles south of Colorado Springs, where the siblings were believed to have been spotted on Tuesday.

Patrol Chief Col. James M. Wolfinbarger said someone reported a car matching the description about 9 a.m., and that troopers spotted the car south of Pueblo about a half-hour later. Troopers tried to stop the car, but the driver eluded them.

During the ensuing chase, the suspects fired shots at troopers, though troopers didn’t return fire. Wolfinbarger said the car crashed on Interstate 25 near an exit, but no details were available. He said the suspects were taken into custody, including one of whom was arrested after a foot chase.

Wolfinbarger said he had been concerned that the search for the fugitives would be dangerous.

“I had a strong concern. I was worried about the safety of our troopers. To have them shooting at you and continue the pursuit, those men are brave,” he said.

A weeklong nationwide search for the trio shifted to Colorado after the sighting in Colorado Springs where authorities say they believe the trio made a purchase at an outdoors store and could be headed to a campground or rural area to try to avoid capture.

The three are suspected of firing at least 20 shots at a Florida officer who tried to pull them over for speeding in a chase at speeds up to 100 mph.

Hours later, three people wearing masks robbed a bank in Valdosta, Ga., about 210 miles north. One robber brandished an AK-47 assault rifle while another was photographed by a security camera waving a machine pistol, the FBI said.

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Aug. 9, 2011 6:55 p.m. — Police Say Fugitive Siblings Possibly in Colorado

By The Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police say they have received “credible information” that people matching the description of three siblings connected to crimes in Florida and Georgia were spotted in Colorado.

The possible sighting near downtown Colorado Springs was reported around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police didn’t release other details of the sighting.

Colorado Springs Sgt. Steven Noblitt says it hasn’t been confirmed that 21-year-old Ryan Edward Dougherty, 26-year-old Dylan Dougherty Stanley and 29-year-old Lee Grace Dougherty are in the area, but the people spotted Tuesday were in a small white vehicle with the stolen Texas license plate LCS 909. The Doughertys had been seen in a white sedan.

A nationwide manhunt for the three began Aug. 2. The siblings are accused of opening fire at a Florida officer and then robbing a bank in Georgia.

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Aug. 9, 2011 6:25 p.m. — Possible Sighting of Fugitive Siblings in Colorado

By The Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Springs police say they have received “credible information” that people matching the description of three siblings connected to crimes in Florida and Georgia were spotted in Colorado.

The possible sighting was reported around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday near Woodmen Road and Interstate 25, which is south of the Air Force Academy and north of downtown Colorado Springs. They didn’t release other details of the sighting.

Sgt. Steven Noblitt says it hasn’t been confirmed that 21-year-old Ryan Edward Dougherty, 26-year-old Dylan Dougherty Stanley and 29-year-old Lee Grace Dougherty are in the area, but the people spotted Tuesday were in a small white vehicle with the stolen Texas license plate LCS 909.

The Doughertys had been seen in a white sedan.

The Gazette reported the possible sighting was called in by a customer in the parking lot of an REI store. REI spokeswoman Libby Catalinich told The Associated Press only that the company was contacted by law-enforcement officials. She declined further comment.

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Aug. 9, 2011 5:22 p.m.

By The Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Springs police say they have received “credible information” that people matching the description of three siblings connected to crimes in Florida and Georgia may have been spotted in Colorado.

Police said the possible sighting was reported around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday near Woodmen Road and Interstate 25, which is south of the Air Force Academy and north of downtown Colorado Springs. They aren’t releasing other details of the sighting.

Sgt. Steven Noblitt said it hasn’t been confirmed that 21-year-old Ryan Edward Dougherty, 26-year-old Dylan Dougherty Stanley and 29-year-old Lee Grace Dougherty are in the area, but the people spotted Tuesday were in a small white vehicle with the stolen Texas license plate LCS 909.

The Doughertys had been seen in a white sedan.

 

 

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