Officer back to work two weeks after shooting; now with Rifle PD |

Officer back to work two weeks after shooting; now with Rifle PD

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Most people say their jobs are tough. But most people don’t get shot on the job.For Dustin Marantino, getting shot has not deterred him from police work.Marantino was less than three shifts away from being finished at the Glenwood Springs Police Department the night he was shot in the chest in a bulletproof vest. After seven months with the Glenwood force, he’d planned to go back to work for the Rifle Police Department where he’d worked for five years.”There were no problems or concerns with the job at all, my life just kind of took a different turn,” he said.He found housing in Glenwood Springs a little expensive and decided to buy a house in Rifle, ultimately deciding not to make the commute.The thought of getting out of law enforcement did cross his mind after getting shot in the chest on July 29. But it didn’t last long. He started work the week of Aug. 13 and now plans to stay with the Rifle Police Department despite knowing there’s always a chance he could again be on the receiving end of a gun shot.

“Even after the shooting, I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “I don’t know what else I would do that would make me happier.”Marantino grew up in Rifle and likes being a cop. Finding opportunities to help people and make a difference, is what he loves. He remembers spending time with an elderly lady whose husband recently died. He says he ended up talking to her for about 40 minutes.”She just needed somebody to talk to,” he said.

After reflecting on the shooting, Marantino thought about some tough questions. He wondered if he should have conducted himself differently.”I think you run the whole gamut of emotions,” Marantino said. “You’re thankful you’re not hurt, angry that it happened to you. I started questioning the tactics I had used.”Ultimately, he’s comfortable knowing there wasn’t much he could have done differently. He doesn’t believe he was being complacent – something that can happen after a long time of routine contacts and traffic stops.He doesn’t like that some people seemed to have turned the shooting into a racial issue. It’s not a race issue, he said.”Criminal behavior is criminal behavior,” he said. “It doesn’t affect one portion of society. It affects them all.”

Other than his accounts of the shooting, descriptions of the suspects and work with composite sketches, Marantino said he’s been excluded from the investigation to preserve his recollections of the shooting. Two suspects were arrested on suspicion of the shooting and released for lack of evidence to file charges.”Sure it’s frustrating,” Marantino said about the investigation. “With anything like this, for me personally I’m looking for some closure on it. So it was frustrating we weren’t able to get there.”He wouldn’t comment on whether or not he believes the two men arrested were the ones actually involved. It was frustrating to the entire law enforcement community, but the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office have done the best possible job, he added.Marantino mainly wants to thank people from the community.Love and support came from regular citizens in addition to the law enforcement community and family and friends, he said. Things like positive commentary he’s heard and watching the reward for information on suspects grow were unexpected.”That was really amazing to see that outpouring of support,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I got an opportunity to say thank you.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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