Records indicate man involved in Frisco police shooting has criminal past in Minnesota
Court records indicate that 33-year-old Nathaniel Leisz, the man who allegedly threatened police with a knife in Frisco and was shot in the hand on Christmas Day, has multiple felony convictions in Minnesota for terroristic threats and property damage over $1,000 in 2010 and 2011. He also plea-bargained a motor vehicle theft charge to theft by swindle and was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault and four protection order violations, the records show.
According to a release from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Leisz was pulled over around 11:20 p.m. in a car matching the description of a vehicle that had been stolen while idling at a Breckenridge convenience store.
He allegedly held a knife to himself in a threatening manner and refused to comply with officers’ commands. Police tried unsuccessfully to disarm Leisz using a Taser and a beanbag round, and he allegedly charged them. A sheriff’s deputy then fired several rounds at Leisz, striking him once in the hand, the release said.
Leisz was taken to the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco before being moved to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, where he was still being treated as of late in the afternoon on Dec. 27. An operator at the hospital said Leisz was not listed in the patient directory, but the Sheriff’s Office said he was there under surveillance by deputies and would be transported to the Summit County Jail as soon as medically permissible.
Minnesota court records indicate that Leisz was charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors in 2009 related to domestic violence, taking a plea deal the following year. He served six days in the Rice County Jail and was sentenced to five years of supervised probation.
Parts of the terms of his probation, records indicate, were psychological evaluation and treatment, no consumption of drugs or alcohol, no violations of a protection order and regularly taking medications in the prescribed amounts.
What followed, however, was a string of reported probation violations and missed probation hearings, according to a register of court filings. A warrant for Leisz’s arrest was issued in April 2014 and he was booked into the Rice County Jail in February of the following year.
According to an amended sentence issued shortly after his arrest, Leisz was ordered to spend one year in a correctional facility in St. Cloud, Minnesota, with 218 days credited for time served. It is unclear when exactly he was released.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Frisco Police Department did not indicate whether or not they suspected that drugs or alcohol were involved in the Dec. 25 shooting.
Leisz was formally charged on Dec. 27 with six counts including first-degree assault — which can carry four to 12 years in prison — menacing, theft and criminal trespass. He has also been charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer, both misdemeanors.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently conducting an investigation into the shooting at the request of the Sheriff’s Office and Frisco police. Per standard procedure, the names of the officers involved are not yet being released, and the deputy who fired the shots has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The sheriff’s office and Frisco police are also conducting internal investigations, which officials said is standard practice after the use of deadly force.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
A Glenwood Springs man was arrested Wednesday night on two misdemeanor charges after police responded to a peace disturbance call at 5:48 p.m. in the 700 block of Grand Avenue.