Judge raises bond on Rifle gunman | PostIndependent.com

Judge raises bond on Rifle gunman

Heather McGregor and John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Gregory Blurton

RIFLE, Colorado – The armed man arrested Thursday after barricading himself in a resident’s bathroom at Crossroads Assisted Living is now being held on a $250,000 bond based on his “extensive criminal history.”

Gregory Roberton Blurton, 54, of Rifle faces felony charges of menacing, burglary and possession of explosive devices, according to a booking sheet released Friday by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department. He also faces misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon, criminal mischief and two counts of committing crimes against at-risk adults.

Blurton was originally booked into the Garfield County Jail on a $40,000 bond following his arrest by Rifle Police Thursday afternoon. On Friday, Judge Daniel Petre raised the bond to $250,000 on the request of the district attorney’s office, based on Blurton’s criminal history of felonies going back for more than 10 years.

In an arrest affidavit filed in Garfield District Court, a Rifle Police Department officer described the incident in detail.

According to the affidavit, Blurton allegedly entered the Crossroads facility, 375 W. 24th St., Thursday afternoon brandishing a gun. Witnessing the break-in were 17 elderly residents, eight staff members and one relative of a resident. The facility’s staff called police for help at 2:47 p.m.

When police arrived and entered from the east side of the building, they heard crashing and banging noises down the hallway in a resident’s room. As two officers entered the room, the gunman barricaded himself in the bathroom and started shouting unintelligibly at them.

The affidavit reported that Blurton was saying he had been cut or shot and was bleeding, and the officers reported hearing more sounds of things being broken.

Based on the noise and his comments, the officers were concerned Blurton was barricaded in the bathroom with a hostage, the document stated.

More than a half hour into the standoff, one officer finally kicked a hole in the bathroom door so the officers could see Blurton, who was still visibly armed with a gun, and could see that no one else was in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, Crossroads staff took action to evacuate the facility. They called the Garfield Re-2 School District and asked for school buses and contacted the E. Dene Moore Nursing Home to receive Crossroads residents.

The school district mobilized two school buses, including one that is handicap-accessible, and residents boarded the buses, said Theresa Hamilton, school district spokeswoman. However, the incident ended before the evacuation was finished, and residents were soon returned back to Crossroads.

Inside, Blurton finally came out of the bathroom, holding a handgun but not pointing it at anyone. As he dropped the gun, he was hit by both probes from a taser fired by one of the Rifle officers, according to the affidavit.

Officers took Blurton into custody at 3:26 p.m.

The affidavit reported that the handgun Blurton allegedly carried, a 9 mm semiautomatic, was empty, but a live round was found in a hallway in the facility. Officers also found a clip containing eight more rounds on 24th Street near the facility.

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