Officer recounts terrifying night
Editor’s Note: Officer Dustin Marantino agreed to speak to the Post Independent about the night he was shot, but asked that his photo not be used with the story.GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Getting shot was the scariest thing Dustin Marantino has ever been through. On July 29 Marantino was on patrol for the Glenwood Springs Police Department. He went to check out the area south of the Glenwood Springs Airport at an impound lot where there have been reports of break-ins and vandalism.”As I was driving, I saw some people and couldn’t tell what they were doing,” said Marantino, who was on patrol by himself. “There was some movement on the fence. It appeared to be someone either climbing in or out of the impound lot.”It was after 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. Marantino stopped to investigate. He started looking at the cars in the lot for possible signs of vandalism or to see if anyone was inside.”Then I saw these two guys come out from behind these bushes and trees along the fence line,” Marantino said.He was walking along the impound lot’s fence when the two men came into view about 30 feet away. Then they turned almost immediately and walked away from Marantino.”I said hey, guys, hold up for a second,” Marantino said. “It appeared that they didn’t want to talk to me and continued to move along.”He told the men to stop a couple more times.Then things got scary.”As I continued to try to close the gap between us, one of them turned and produced a firearm and started shooting,” Marantino said. “It was very quick. As he turned, I saw the gun coming around. I immediately started backpedaling and began reaching for my handgun.”Shots were fired.Marantino said they were about 10 to 15 feet away from each other. There was no cover nearby, so the officer and the gunman moved away from each other during the brief exchange. The man fired multiple shots, the first shot hitting Marantino square to the chest into his bulletproof vest. Marantino said he didn’t fall down, but it hurt. He said it felt like someone hit him in the chest with a baseball bat. He returned multiple shots but was unsure it he hit anyone.”I was pulling my gun as soon as I saw his gun, but he got the first shot off,” he said.The men ran to the south. Marantino didn’t feel comfortable running after them into the darkness, alone, outnumbered and unsure whether or not the bullet penetrated his bulletproof vest.The gunshot to the chest throbbed.”At that point there were so many question marks I wasn’t prepared to continue trying to contact them by myself,” he said.The suspects are still at large. (See timeline.)He called over the radio that he’d been shot and returned to his patrol vehicle. He stayed just behind the vehicle’s open door where he could move quickly if needed.”For that first several minutes it was kind of a roller coaster trying to figure out if (the bulletproof vest) stopped the bullet or not,” he said.He wondered if the men would come back to try and to shoot him again. Cars with lights flashing and sirens blaring soon were speeding toward his location. He could hear all kinds of chatter over the radio, and that provided some relief for Marantino .Even though backup was quick to arrive, he said it seemed like an eternity. He’d just been shot, two men were still on the loose and it was in a dark, remote part of town. he had reason to worry.He was checked at Valley View Hospital but suffered only superficial injuries and was released the next day.Taking a bullet into his vest will leave a lasting impression of the value they provide.He has little doubt that his vest saved his life.The bullet hit him square and directly at a vital organ.”It was right above my aorta, so I imagine it would have been a pretty fatal wound,” he said.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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In a pair of Saturday matinee games at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the Glenwood Springs girls and boys teams played host to the Steamboat Springs Sailors in 4A Western Slope League basketball action.