Troopers Buneta, Kohnlein, Mock, Noga and Schaaf
On August 10, 2011 at approximately 9:02 am, the Colorado State Patrol received a tip that the three wanted Dougherty sibling fugitives from Florida may be in the area of Colorado City. Their vehicle was spotted at a gas station near Interstate 25 and Exit 74. Attempting to initiate a traffic stop at this location, the suspects’ vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit headed south on Interstate 25 into Huerfano County, ending at mile marker 52 after stop sticks were deployed to disable the suspects’ vehicle.
Trooper Mark Buneta, Trooper Brian Kohnlein, Trooper Clayton Mock, Trooper Rodney Noga, and Trooper Gary Schaaf demonstrated an outstanding degree of professionalism during the pursuit. These three siblings were wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the attempted murder of a Florida police officer and the robbery of a bank in Georgia. They had been on the run from law enforcement for several days and were armed. During the pursuit one of the siblings held an AK-47 out of the window of their vehicle firing multiple rounds at Trooper Buneta, Trooper Kohnlein, Trooper Mock and Trooper Schaaf.
Trooper Noga placed himself into position to deploy the stop sticks at mile marker 52. While in his position he was also in danger of being shot or run over by fleeing suspects, yet stayed in his location and successfully deployed the sticks. After hitting the sticks the suspects’ vehicle went out of control and crashed. Ultimately the three suspects were captured after a brief shootout with law enforcement personnel, with no injuries to law enforcement, yet one of the suspects was shot in the leg.
If not for the immediate and decisive actions taken by Trooper Buneta, Trooper Kohnlein, Trooper Mock, Trooper Noga, and Trooper Schaaf during this pursuit, the potential loss of life and threat to law enforcement and the public were imminent. While exposed to the danger, each of these members acted with deliberate intent and exercised sound judgment to end the pursuit, bringing credit upon themselves and the Colorado State Patrol.