Wyoming news briefs for October 13


Converse County man charged with attempted murder in shootings

DOUGLAS — A Converse County man has been charged with three counts of attempted second-degree murder, burglary, theft and a host of other crimes after allegedly shooting and critically injuring two hunters from California and nearly hitting a third man. 

Solomon Preston Bolen, 41, appeared in Converse County Circuit Court Friday morning to face a slew of charges stemming from the alleged shooting rampage and crime spree taking place on Irvine Road Oct. 6. 

Bolen faces 138 years to life in prison if convicted on all of the charges. 

According to the Converse County Sheriff’s Office, a man walked out of a house at 756 Irvine and opened fire on the three hunters in their vehicle, wounding driver John Cleary and front seat passenger George Heger. Both had been hit in their legs. Richard Cleary was in the backseat and was unharmed, but was able to identify the man as someone who had previously been at their camper and had been asked to leave. 

The shooter then left in a brown pickup, they said. 

The owner of the house, Frank Prado, told CCSO investigators he did not know the man and that guns were missing from his gun safe. 

Law enforcement followed the tire tracks into Prado’s hay field back to Irvine Road where they spotted a green pickup being driven in reverse and attempting to elude officers, according to court documents. 

The pickup stopped at a house at 840 Irvine Road, where the man entered, set a rifle on the table and allegedly stated to someone in the house, “I think I just shot someone.” 

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Handcuffed man steals police car

RAWLINS — A 41-year-old Florida man attempted to elude Rawlins Police Department officers on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, on foot and eventually in an RPD patrol vehicle before he was eventually secured and arrested Friday evening.

The incident began when the rider of the motorcycle, identified as James Estes of Tampa, Florida, failed to stop for a Rawlins police officer who attempted to stop him for having no visible registration. Instead of stopping, Estes fled and sparked a pursuit that began on Spruce Street in the city and ended in Sweetwater County.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol picked up the pursuit as the motorcycle made its way onto westbound Interstate 80, according to a city press release about the chase. At about mile marker 189, Estes crossed the median, ditched the Harley-Davidson and tried to get away on foot.

But after a brief foot pursuit, he was caught, cuffed and secured in the rear prisoner area of an RPD patrol car.

That’s when Estes was able to slide his handcuffed arms to the front of his body, crawl through the center divider of the car’s back cage — which measures less than a square foot — and steal the RPD patrol vehicle, according to the press release.

Highway Patrol again pursued the suspect westbound on I-80. The chase continued into Sweetwater County to mile marker 119, where Estes lost control of the patrol car in the center median. He then again tried to flee on foot.

After another brief foot pursuit, a still-handcuffed-Estes was taken into custody again.

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Car crashes through business wall, driver leaves behind wallet, ID

CHEYENNE — The Cheyenne Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a woman who drove through the display window of a local food pantry and clothing store early Tuesday morning. 

“To the woman who felt compelled to donate her Subaru to Needs Inc. shortly after midnight, they’re no longer taking vehicle donations. However, we do have your wallet and ID, so feel free to come on back over, and we can help you put together some of these puzzles you knocked off the shelves,” the post reads. 

CPD encouraged anyone who witnessed the crash or with information about the location of the driver to contact Officer John Maule at [email protected]. 

In an early Tuesday morning Facebook post, Needs Inc. said its clothing store would be closed “for the foreseeable future.” 

“Please remember our donation hours are Monday and Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to
6 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Unfortunately, we do not accept cars,” the organization joked. “We are truly grateful for the support of the Cheyenne Police Department.” 

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Sheridan schools warn of TikTok ‘challenges’

SHERIDAN — School officials warned parents last week about TikTok’s recent “devious licks” challenge, a trend that encourages students to perform a series of unkind and destructive acts monthly during the school year and post videos of their behavior on the social media app, TikTok. Local school administrators assert the warning was a preventative measure, rather than a reaction to student behavior at Sheridan schools.

According to an email circulated by Sheridan school officials last week, the challenges range from the unpleasant, including May’s ditch day challenge, to the illegal, including October’s “smack a staff member” and January’s “jab a breast” challenges. September’s challenge urged students to vandalize school bathrooms.

Like most TikTok challenges, “devious licks” are part meme, part hazard. While some videos under the tag show relatively benign pranks — like students jokingly pocketing soap and water from school sinks — others show students trashing bathrooms or opening their backpacks to reveal stolen soap containers. 

Administrators at local schools say that the “devious licks” warning circulated to parents last week was a preventative measure, rather than a serious concern about “devious licks” performed at Sheridan schools. 

Sheridan High School principal Michael Carnes, for instance, said the high school has not yet experienced any of the “devious licks” challenges. Other schools across the country, Carnes said, have encountered more behavioral issues connected with the viral trend than schools in Sheridan County.

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