GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) – An altercation that broke out at a bar in Golden early Sunday morning quickly turned violent when a vehicle drove through a crowd of people, leaving one person dead and several others in the hospital.
According to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, they received reports of a hit-and-run with multiple victims around 1:45 a.m. on Sunday at the Rock Rest Lodge, located at 16005 Mt. Vernon Road.
When first responders arrived, they found at least eight victims, one of whom died a short time after their arrival. Four other victims were men and were taken to a nearby hospital.
Three additional victims sustained minor injuries and stayed on the scene to speak with investigators.
JCSO said that leading up to the hit-and-run, there was a “verbal altercation” between two parties, which bouncers broke up. One of the parties was taken to the back of the lodge but was still on Mt. Vernon Road.
The other party involved in the altercation consisted of three men, all of whom got into a nearby white Chevy Silverado. The alleged driver, Ruben Marquez, 29, then drove the truck into the crowd standing on Mt. Vernon Road.
“I saw a big white pickup and I saw him running over the people and hitting the people,” Julio, who lives near the bar and witnessed the whole situation, said.
The truck eventually returned to the scene of the crash for a short time before leaving again. The truck and Marquez were located a short time later by deputies, who pulled the truck over near West 10th Avenue and Mt. Vernon Road and took all three occupants into custody without incident.
“It’s a good place to come and chill but last night was not one of those nights,” Julio said.
Who was killed in the incident
The man who died in the incident has been identified by his family as 26-year-old Adrian Ponce of Denver. He was a husband and father of two children.
His family submitted a statement to FOX31 saying:
It’s heartbreaking. He was such a hard-working man, a loving father, son, brother and husband with a heart of gold and pure intentions to succeed to give his family the best life he could. This is truly the most devastating thing that could have happened to our family. We are lost, broken and angry. He didn’t deserve this and this has left a huge hole in all of our hearts.
His family said he was an outspoken advocate for his brother who was attacked on an RTD bus earlier this year. That attack showed a man stabbing his younger brother who lives with autism and schizophrenia.
Ponce’s family created a GoFundMe to help raise money for funeral and memorial expenses.
Deputies arrest 3 men in suspect truck
When police located the truck, the owner, Ernesto DeJesus Avila, 25, was arrested with the driver, Marquez and another unidentified person.
Marquez is facing charges of first-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault. Avila is accused as an accessory to the same charges as Marquez.
The third person in the truck is not facing any charges.
This story was updated Sunday evening with the identity of the victim from his family.