DENVER (KDVR) – Update June 3, 4:45 p.m.: Colorado State Patrol released a statement saying they were notified by Denver Police Department that a Patrol member was suspected of a crime while off-duty. CSP conducted an internal investigation, and fired Trooper Wesley Dakan on June 1.
Court records show Dakan was arrested on April 28, three days after the incident, and is currently facing two counts of felony menacing.
In light of this news, The Problem Solvers reached out to the District Attorney’s Office and the Denver Police Department for comment, but have not heard back.
Original Story: Denver District Attorney Beth McCann is urging victims to come forward after a Colorado police officer was charged with a felony and fired from his job following accusations he pointed a rifle at another person in April.
According to the district attorney’s office, on April 25, a man in a Subaru Crosstrek pointed a rifle at another person in a Subaru WRX at 10th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard in Denver.
A 44-year-old law enforcement officer has been charged with two counts of felony menacing in connection with this incident.
The officer was off duty and not in uniform or driving a marked law enforcement vehicle at the time of the incident, according to the DA’s office. He was placed on paid administrative leave as soon as the law enforcement agency was notified of the incident, and he was terminated on June 1.
On Thursday, prosecutors renewed the call for the victims of the incident to come forward.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office said it would not yet release the name and photograph of the law enforcement officer being charged, as well as other details, in order to preserve the integrity of the case while efforts are underway to identify the victims.
FOX31 has repeatedly asked McCann’s office why it refuses to release the name of a suspect who’s been arrested. Per Colorado statue 24-72-303, basic information about arrests is public. The statue reads in part, “records of official actions shall be maintained by the particular criminal justice agency which took the action and shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times.”
Media attorney Steve Zansberg and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition agree that the name of the arrested suspect should be made public.
When asked for a specific reason the suspect’s name is not being made public today, McCann’s spokesperson replied in an e-mail, “We understand that the public has a right to know the name of the defendant, however, it is important to the integrity of this case, that we limit release of information for now. Our focus is on having the victims come forward so that a positive identification may be made.”
McCann’s office has also not stated when the suspect was arrested and if it was before or after his arrest.
The officer charged in the case is scheduled to appear in court again in mid-June.
Victims and any other witnesses are urged to leave a tip with Metro Crime Stoppers by calling (720) 913-7867 – (720) 913-STOP or contacting Denver DA Investigator Zac Pauga at 720-913-9055, Zac.Pauga@denverda.org; or Denver Police Detective Mylous Yearling at 720-913-0586, Mylous.Yearling@denvergov.org.