Teen hitchhiker wanted for attacking woman arrested in Broomfield

(Photo: Boulder County Sheriff's Office)

(Photo: Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The 16-year-old who was wanted for beating and severely injuring a 71-year-old woman at her home in Lefthand Canyon was arrested Thursday night.

Detectives with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office along with the U.S. Marshals Service and Broomfield Police Department took Jeffrey Collins into custody.

Collins was booked into the juvenile detention center on the warrant for attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault of an at risk adult. Bond was set at $1 million.

The investigation into the assault is still underway. Detectives still want to talk to the driver of a white hatchback that picked up Collins in the 13000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive and gave him a ride to Ward.

Woman who was attacked ‘lost her tranquility’

On Monday night, 71-year-old Katie Kulpa was attacked by Collins inside her remote home in Lefthand Canyon near Jamestown, the sheriff's office said.

“She's always been someone who loves people, who trusts people and that's always been reciprocated back to her,” said her son, Gregg Leverentz.

The sheriff's office said Kulpa was struck on the head. with a metal fireplace poker.

“He hit her so hard it broke,” Leverentz said. “She had a skull fracture. This all the way across here is split.  Broken orbital, broke her sinus."

The sheriff's office said the teenage hitchhiker planned to steal her car after Kulpa invited him and his two friends into her home.

“For this to happen to her, especially by a 16-year-old, its gonna, I guess, make her think a lot about the choices she makes being open with people,” Leverentz said.

Leverentz said his mother probably wouldn’t be alive had the two friends who were with the suspect not run for help.

To them, Leverentz simply said, “Thank you. Whether they know it or not they probably saved her life."

To Collins, he said he only wants to ask why.

“That's the question I keep asking myself over and over, like how and why did this happen because there was really no need for it,” he said.

Wavering between hurt and anger, he said the actions of a 16-year-old kid have caused a lot more than just blood loss.

“She’s lost her tranquility, her peace, her little area which is hers, that's all been taken from her,” Leverentz said.

A GoFundMe account is available to help Kulpa with expenses.