Weld County coroner IDs man found dead in cell

The Weld County Coroner's Office has identified a man found dead in his cell at the Weld County Jail on Thursday as the same man accused of dragging a Firestone police officer about 15 feet earlier this month.The Greeley Tribune reported that the coroner's...

Weld County coroner IDs man found dead in cell

The Weld County Coroner's Office has identified a man found dead in his cell at the Weld County Jail on Thursday as the same man accused of dragging a Firestone police officer about 15 feet earlier this month.

The Greeley Tribune reported that the coroner's office identified Aaron Bloedel, 42, as the man found unresponsive in his cell on Thursday afternoon.

The Weld County Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the death, and said in a news release that deputies attempted to revive Bloedel, but he was pronounced dead at the North Colorado Medical Center about an hour later.

Bloedel had been facing numerous charges, including vehicular assault, first-degree assault on a peace officer, felony eluding, aggravated motor vehicle theft, felony menacing, forgery and numerous misdemeanors.

Police say Bloedel, 42, and another man, 29-year-old Steven Nelson, were sitting in a car near the 1500 block of Weld County Road 20.5 on Feb. 4 when Firestone police officer Dan Wittler approached their vehicle because it had been called in as suspicious.

When Wittler approached the car, police say Bloedel began to pull away, and when Wittler placed his hand inside the car and told Bloedel to stop, he was dragged about 15 feet. Wittler suffered minor injuries, but was able to get back to his car and give chase.

Wittler terminated the chase in Longmont when police allege Bloedel almost struck a Longmont police officer. Longmont police the chased the car toward Boulder. Boulder police and Boulder County deputies chased the car in Boulder until Bloedel and Nelson fled on foot and were caught a short time later.

John Bear: 303-473-1355, bearj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/jonbearwithme

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