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Dispatcher accused of trying to commandeer hot dog cart

Colorado Springs police dispatcher Kayla Hogan allegedly claimed she was in hot pursuit of a bad guy when a hot dog vendor said she tried to drive off in the pickup to which his snack cart was hitched.
/ Source: KOAA-TV

Heard the one about the police dispatcher accused of trying to steal a hot dog cart?

She was hot on a bad guy's trail — at least that's what 28-year-old Kayla Hogan allegedly claimed when a Colorado Springs hot dog vendor said she tried to drive off in the pickup to which his snack cart was hitched.

"I'm commandeering your truck," the vendor said he was told. "I'm after someone."

Hogan, a dispatcher in the Colorado Springs police communications center, was arrested June 26 on suspicion of attempted vehicle theft, after a closing-time fracas outside the Copperhead Road Bar, 3330 N. Academy Blvd. Police say she pinched the hot dog vendor and twice punched a bar bouncer who came to his aid.

Her arrest apparently didn't make it onto the Police Department's online blotter, which records notable incidents and arrests.

Hogan, who has two previous convictions for drunk driving, earned a base salary of $48,619 in 2009, the most recent year for which records were immediately available. Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Noblitt hasn't returned a phone message inquiring about her job status, and city spokeswoman Julie Smith said she would research the issue and get back to The Gazette.

Hogan is the third police employee to be arrested since May. According to an arrest affidavit, a bar bouncer grew concerned when he noticed Hogan standing in the bar parking lot about 1 a.m. But when Curtis Lille approached and asked if she needed help, Hogan ignored his questions, "kicked off her high heel shoes" and took off running through the parking lot, police said.

Four minutes later, police say, hot dog vendor Charlie Gast "saw a female wearing no shoes run up to his truck and get into the driver's seat." Hogan pinched Gast and punched Lille during a fracas that broke out as they tried to get her out of the truck, police said.

According to the court document, Hogan lashed out when Gast prevented her from turning the truck's key, which was left in the ignition: "You're really aiding and abetting a felon," she said, according to the arrest affidavit.

Police listed the value of the 2006 GMC pickup at $15,000.  The vending trailer hitched to the back is worth approximately $25,000, police said.

Hogan couldn't immediately be reached for comment. She is due to return to court Aug. 22, for a dispositional hearing on attempted aggravated motor vehicle theft, a Class 4 felony that carries up to 12 years in prison.