Man arrested in connection to attack on real estate agent in Commerce City

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — A man has been arrested in connection to an attack on a Denver real estate agent at a Commerce City condominium complex earlier this week, according to the Commerce City Police Department.

Ernest Robert Chrisman, 43, was arrested Thursday afternoon. He is charged with first-degree burglary, attempted aggravated robbery, attempted second-degree kidnapping, menacing, violation of bail bond conditions, third-degree assault and crime of violence. The latter is a sentencing enhancer.

The alleged attack occurred about 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Aspen Hills Condominiums at 14700 E. 104th Ave.

Real estate agent Dawna Hetzler had just arrived at a condo for an open house. She has been in the real estate business for 14 years.

As she turned on the lights at the home, a man knocked on the front door. He said he was interested in the property.

“He was asking the right questions about how long it had been on the market. We talked about loans and what he might qualify for,” Hetzler said.

Hetzler showed him the kitchen and living room area. Then, he asked to see the rooms upstairs.

“At that point, we got into the master bedroom and he pulled a knife out,” she said.

Cornered in the master bedroom, Hetzler said the man laid out a knife and six-inch rope.

“He wanted me to take off my ring and go in the closet, and at that point, his intentions were deadly, in my opinion,” Hetzler said.

Fearing for her life, Hetzler drew her handgun that she is licensed to carry.

“As I drew my firearm, and he saw that I had that, he doused me with bear spray. At that point, I could not see. I could barely see. My skin was burning, my eyes were on fire and so I fired,” she said.

Police say it’s unclear if the bullet hit the man, but he was spooked and ran off.

Chrisman was booked into the Adams County Detention Facility.

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