If the police version of what happened in a shoot-out involving a 28-year-old man and a police officer on May 22 is correct, one wonders why the police waited nearly a month to arrest him. The man is surely concentrating on a criminal defense now that he’s been arrested under Colorado law for suspicion of attempt to commit first-degree murder. The reported story is that a Longmont police officer saw the accused driving without headlights about 2 a.m. on May 22.
He pulled him over in a parking lot. The driver got out and, according to the officer, started shooting his Bushmaster AR-15 rifle at the officer, who returned fire. The officer hit the man three times, but the officer was uninjured. The accused was taken to a secured treatment room at Denver Health to recover from the wounds received, but he was not arrested until just a few days ago.
Appointed criminal defense counsel filed motions recently in Boulder District Court seeking discovery and requesting the bond be set. Ultimately, it was set at $10 million. It’s reported that the accused had a blood alcohol level of .311, over three times the legal limit.
The Boulder County Critical Incident Investigations Team, consisting of detectives from several departments, investigated the shooting and cleared the officer. Unfortunately, the investigative group can’t fairly be called neutral in light of its members all being police officers, and one of their own has been apparently shot at. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a fair investigation but only to question the perception of fairness for credibility purposes.
In any event, pursuant to Colorado law and procedure, the man’s due process rights will have to be carefully monitored and protected as he goes to trial for a serious felony requiring a substantial criminal defense. At this point, the public defender appears to be representing him. If the extremely high alcohol reading is correct, then the officer’s story becomes more plausible in that a person that impaired could plausibly resort to aggressive rifle fire against a perceived enemy.
Source: Longmont Times-Call, “Man accused of shooting at Longmont police officer is arrested,” Tony Kindelspire, June 28, 2013