Man who escaped from police custody gets 32 years for attempted murder of Denver PD officer

DENVER —  A man who escaped from police custody while being transferred to Denver Health Medical Center was sentenced to 32 years in prison for the attempted murder of a Denver Police Department officer, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

In March, Mauricio Venzor-Gonzalez, 24, was found guilty of five out of six counts: attempted first-degree murder for firing several gunshots at an officer, first-degree assault on a peace officer, retaliation against a witness and two counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

“Collaboration, partnership and dedication among several law enforcement agencies is what led to today’s successful outcome,” said Denver District Attorney Beth McCann in a press release issued Friday. “We will not tolerate attacks on our law enforcement officers.”

In November 2017, officers attempted a traffic stop near West Alameda Avenue and South Stuart Street. Venzor-Gonzalez was a passenger in the vehicle.

Prosecutors said the driver eluded officers but crashed into a parked vehicle.

Venzor-Gonzalez fled on foot and was pursued by officers. During the chase, prosecutors said Venzor-Gonzalez shot multiple times at the officer, who returned fire.

The officer was later cleared of criminal charges by the District Attorney’s Office.

Venzor-Gonzalez avoided being captured for three days until law enforcement found where he was hiding. While trying to arrest him, officers were involved in a standoff for several hours.

Venzor-Gonzalez was apprehended and a search of his hideout in Aurora found several firearms, including an AR-15 and a Glock 26 that was later determined to be the gun used to shoot at the officer.

Venzor-Gonzalez suffered three gunshot wounds and was taken to Denver Health then booked into custody.

On March 19, 2018, while being transferred from the Denver Detention Center to Denver Health, Venzor-Gonzalez escaped from custody and evaded capture for several months.

He will go to trial for the escape charge in July.

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