BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — As Boulder prepares for the Colorado Buffaloes football home opener, police in the city have made several arrests in one of its busiest areas.
One of the people they arrested had just gotten out of jail after being arrested for allegedly stabbing someone just two weeks ago.
Seven people were arrested in two hotspots near downtown on Wednesday. The targeted enforcement took place in two areas including Central Park and Pearl Street Mall.
Police in Boulder say drug overdoses and an uptick in crime triggered the operation.
“Our goal is we want our public spaces to be safe for everyone to enjoy. We have issues with people camping in our public spaces, and what we’ve learned from our community is people have not felt particularly safe,” Boulder Police Deputy Chief Stephen Redfearn said.
Boulder Police say one of the men taken into custody had just been arrested two weeks ago for allegedly stabbing someone. FOX31 was told a judge released the homeless man on a personal recognizance bond.
DA: ‘System failed’ to meet community’s concerns
District Attorney Michael Dougherty said his office asked for a higher secured bond, but a judge made the decision to release the suspect without having to pay money and post a bond.
“People in Boulder are really concerned about their safety in this downtown area right now, and those concerns are valid,” Dougherty said. “And each of us in the criminal justice system has a responsibility to measure and meet the concerns of the community. Here, the system failed to do that.”
Dougherty said his office strongly objected to the PR bond, saying the man was a danger, but a defense attorney argued the suspect had no criminal history and there was a claim of self-defense.
“Immediately after Boulder Police officers observed this particular defendant yesterday committing another alleged offense, they contacted us to ask us what happened in this case,” Dougherty said.
Some families here are asking the same question.
“It’s almost like roulette. At any time, this could happen to someone like you or me or my children,” John Neslage said. “I like to ride my bicycle downtown. I like to go to the farmer’s market on Saturdays. We simply coexist with all of this around us, and we’re really playing with fire.”
Police continue enforcement in Boulder
Boulder Police say they plan to use more targeted enforcement if traditional policing tactics aren’t working.
The stabbing suspect who bonded out of jail was back before a judge on Thursday.
“Our office, again, argued for a high secured bond because of our public safety concerns,” said Shannon Carbone, spokesperson for the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. “Our prosecutor requested a $30,000 secured bond with no lower cash alternative. However, the judge set bond at 20,000 cash/surety/property with an option of $2000 cash bond. He is due back in court on September 12th. Our office will continue to fight for appropriate bonds in this case and others, especially when public safety is a concern.”