Crime Briefs: Parachute family held hostage
May 18, 2018
On Tuesday, a Parachute police officer responded to a call from a woman who said her ex-husband had threatened to kill her and her sister. When the officer made contact with the woman by phone, she said her ex-husband had made such threats because she had called his probation officer to advise that he was intoxicated.
He threatened to shoot her, her sister, himself, and police if officers had arrived at the residence.
The woman's sister, who was diagnosed with cancer and had trouble walking, had locked herself in her room to avoid the suspect.
The officer wrote in court documents that he tried to reach the woman's sister but that she had refused to answer because if the suspect had heard her communicating with police, he would get violent. In the documents, the officer says he asked the woman if she could leave and go for a walk and ultimately meet with police. She said no, as she was disabled and the suspect would be suspicious and prohibit her from leaving the house. The officer then turned over communication with a hostage negotiation team, which was able to remove the woman's sister from the home.
The 51-year-old suspect was ordered out of the home, according to court documents, and placed into custody. An officer says the suspect smelled of alcohol and that he had threatened the officer on the way to Garfield County Jail. The officer found there were three protection orders, restraining the suspect from contact with his ex-wife. One order stated that he is restrained from "assaulting, threatening, abusing, harassing, following or stalking the protected person." The second protective order says he is restrained from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages and controlled substances and must stay away from the protected person's home, school, and place of employment.
"Because [he] threatened [her], was at [her] residence and was under the influence of alcohol he was in violation of the restraining orders," the documents say. He is charged with domestic violence, two counts of harassment, violation of restraining orders, menacing, and false imprisonment.
At about 6:40 a.m. on May 11, officers responded to a call saying a mother and her baby were walking along Interstate 70 near mile marker 64, just east of DeBeque in Garfield County. The officer who initiated the call said a male had been sitting in a vehicle nearby.
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According to court documents, an officer located the male at a different location. The officer asked approached the driver and asked if anyone else had been in the vehicle. The driver said the others were walking westbound on highway I-70.
The officer asked the driver to identify himself and he refused, saying he had possible arrest warrants and that he did not want to go to jail. The officer called for backup and when an additional officer approached the suspect, the locked the door.
According to documents, the officer asked the driver several times to unlock the door, finally advising if the driver didn't exit the vehicle, the officers would shatter the passenger's window. The male continued to argue and the officers asked several more times. One officer says he noticed a can of pepper spray concealed in the driver's hand and that he shattered the passenger's window to protect the other officer, who was closer to the suspect.
The officer wrote in the documents that he used his Taser on the male's back and right leg to prohibit him from continuing to spray the other officer. The driver then surrendered and opened the door. An ambulance was called to treat the lacerations sustained from the Taser.
Upon running the suspect’s license, officers found two arrest warrants, one for obstructing police, and the other for failing to comply. Officers could not verify the car was insured or that it had even belonged to the suspect. It was impounded and a dog in the back of the car was taken to Rifle Animal Shelter. The male was placed under arrest and told officers that he was suicidal.
At Garfield County Jail, a sheriff's deputy asked the suspect if he had ever attempted suicide. He said yes, adding that he had hoped for a suicide by cop situation at the time of his arrest. He was placed on suicide watch and is charged with obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest, and second-degree assault. It is still unclear how he was linked to the mother and the baby walking alongside the highway.
At about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, two Rifle police officers were called to investigate a possible disturbance. They say in court documents, while at the scene, they noticed a vehicle circling the block without stopping at any of the residences. A few minutes later, one of the officers says he noticed the same car parked on private property at a church, which is currently under construction. As the officer approached the vehicle, a 33-year-old suspect said a friend told him he could park at the private property overnight. He additionally stated he had ingested meth two days before.
The officer says that when he looked inside the vehicle, he observed a blade knife protruding from the seat. He says when he asked the suspect to exit the vehicle he observed a large set of pliers coming out of the male's back pocket. The officer asked the suspect if he could search him and upon doing so, he found a pair of plastic gloves in the male's front pocket.
Upon questioning, the officer says he learned the suspect occasionally pleasures himself with plastic gloves. A second officer checked for possible warrants for arrests and ran the suspect's driver's license. The license was not valid in the state of Wisconsin and the male was also listed as a registered sex offender in the state. An officer asked how long he had been here and the male said a few months.
The officer also asked if the suspect had registered as a sex offender in the state of Colorado, and he said no. The officer says in the affidavits that he detained the suspect for further investigation but before placing him in the patrol car, the suspect's friend who told him he could park at the private property came over, asking about a lost dog.
As the officer advised the suspect of his Miranda Rights, he says the male said he had driven his friend around to "steal stuff." The second officer asked via radio what kind of jacket the suspect's friend had been wearing and he said a black one. The second officer said he located a black jacket balled up next to a trashcan that looked like it had been moved to a position to gain access to a nearby window at the church.
A monkey fist, which is commonly used to break windows, the document says, and plastic gloves were found near the trashcan. The suspect said he knew his friend was trying to break into the church. Upon searching the suspect's truck, the officer found pliers, screwdrivers, face masks, and multiple bags, which the suspect said belonged to his friend.
The primary suspect was arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit a crime, second-degree burglary, and possession of burglary tools.