Man arrested in Denver tractor chase opts to represent himself in court; bond set at $50K

Still no formal charges filed against Thomas Busch
Posted at 4:05 PM, Jul 24, 2018

DENVER – The man accused of leading Denver police on a chase through downtown on a stolen tractor made his first court appearance Tuesday and saw his bond set at $50,000 in the case.

Thomas Busch, 37, still has not been formally charged in the incident. He’s being held for investigation on motor vehicle theft, first-degree assault and vehicular eluding charges while prosecutors determine which formal charges he might face.

Busch chose to represent himself in court on Tuesday for the 14-minute hearing. He spoke quietly, telling the judge he has a “hole” in his lung, and told the judge he understood the proceedings.

He said he has PTSD and hadn’t been taking his medication for about seven months, adding he was “trying to get stabilized a little bit more.”

While he and prosecutors discussed his possible bond, Busch told the court he had two young children he was concerned he couldn’t see if his bond was set too high.

The judge in the case eventually set his bond at $50,000, which Busch said he likely wouldn’t be able to afford. Should he post the bond, the judge said he would have “intensive pretrial supervision,” wouldn’t be allowed to possess weapons and would have a curfew.

A judge also granted a protection order in the case at Tuesday’s hearing.

The judge said that should prosecutors file charges against Busch this week that he would have another opportunity to decide whether he wants a public defender appointed to represent him in the case. Police said Monday they were looking into “several” other incidents that happened Friday night to see if Busch was connected.

According to police, Busch stole a Denver Water tractor and drove it from near Colorado Bouleard through City Park and into LoDo, where police eventually ended the low-speed chase by ramming the tractor.

Busch had been hospitalized after the crash to be treated for injuries he received during his arrest, which police said he resisted. In court Tuesday, Busch had a large scab on his forehead.

Court records obtained by Denver7 show Busch has been arrested for burglary, domestic violence, robbery, assault; and several traffic offenses including vehicle theft, hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license, careless driving, driving under the influence, among others

Police are still looking for people who have videos or other information about the incident to call 720-337-1000. Busch’s next court appearance has not been scheduled at this time.