Law enforcement officials in Laramie County say that a purchase from a popular fast food chain helped lead Highway Patrol troopers to an adult male who is suspected of leading troopers on a chase, crashing a vehicle, and fleeing the scene. Officials say that pepper spray and a collapsible baton were used in the suspect’s apprehension.
Lance Lee Gibson, born in 1981, was taken into custody in the case and faces multiple charges including one felony. Laramie County Circuit court papers say that Gibson was charged with felony level Interference With a Police Officer with Injury. the charge carries a potential penalty of up to ten years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000 or both.
Gibson also faces misdemeanor charges of Eluding, Driving Under Suspension, Hit and Run, and Failure to Maintain Insurance.
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An affidavit of probable cause filed by the Wyoming Highway Patrol says that on May 16, 2020, just before 6:00 pm, troopers observed a red pickup truck traveling east on Wyoming Highway 212, near Cheyenne, Wyoming. The truck is described as traveling above the 30 mph speed limit, and RADAR indicates that the vehicle may have been traveling as fast as 55 mph.
Troopers say the vehicle continued from Wyoming 212 onto Pine Drive, as the Wyoming Highway Patrol began to follow the vehicle. The affidavit says that WHP patrol activated lights and siren on a marked patrol vehicle in an attempt to pull the pickup over. The truck reportedly did not yield.
The red truck continued on Pine Drive at an alleged 65 mph in a posted 30 mph speed zone, with WHP in pursuit. The chase was terminated at the intersection of Pine Drive and Citrus Streets. Moments later, troopers report coming upon the scene of a crash, where the red truck is believed to have collided with a parked vehicle.
Law enforcement says that the truck was found to be running but was unoccupied. Witnesses report that multiple individuals had fled the tuck after the collision, leaping over fences and crossing through yards.
Investigators note that several bags of food from Dairy Queen were found in the pickup and that the food was still relatively warm.
“As if they had recently been prepared and purchased,” the WHP writes in the affidavit. “A receipt for the food items showed them to have been purchased at the Cheyenne Dairy Queen.”
Interviews were conducted at the Dairy Queen where troopers got a description of three individuals in the red pickup, including the driver. Meanwhile the registered owner of the truck said that truck was not in their possession and had been taken by an individual identified as “Lance.”
Investigation brought troopers to a private home on the 3000 block of Terry Road in Cheyenne, in an attempt to talk to Gibson. Troopers were reportedly invited in by the owner of the house, who told them that “this all needs to come to a head sooner or later.”
Law enforcement searched the home with firearms drawn, and eventually found Gibson in the home’s kitchen. Gibson reportedly was clenching his fists and shouting at troopers.
“Gibson repeatedly ignored our commands and appeared to grow more agitated and aggressive toward us. After numerous commands and warnings, I sprayed a short burst of O.C. spray onto Gibson’s face. Gibson merely closed his eyes and increased his yelling and physically expressed aggression,” one WHP trooper writes in an affidavit.
O.C. or oleoresin capsicum spray is another name for pepper spray.
Troopers then say that Gibson began walking towards them, and continued to disregard law enforcement commands.
“I struck Gibson in the leg several times with my expandable baton to attempt to get him to the ground, but Gibson refused to,” the trooper stated.
During the struggle with law enforcement, troopers say that a dog, described as a pit bull, entered the room and bit two troopers on their legs. Meanwhile Gibson reportedly struck at troopers with his hands.
The physical altercation continued, with troopers saying that they let go of their baton and began to strike Gibson with their empty hands. Gibson was then pulled backwards by other troopers, and a struggle began between one trooper and the suspect over control of the baton.
Eventually Gibson was taken into custody and transported to the Laramie County Detention Center.
During a search pursuant to arrest, a Dairy Queen receipt dated for May 16, 2020 for approximately 5:20 pm, was located on Gibson’s person. Witnesses at the Dairy Queen restaurant reportedly identified photos of Gibson as matching the driver of the red pickup truck.
Troopers indicate that the red pickup truck had no liability insurance, and that Gibson’s driver’s license record returned as being ineligible.
All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office.