CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Two deputies involved in the death of a 22-year-old man who called for help after getting his SUV stuck on a boulder are facing several charges.
According to the indictments for Sgt. Kyle Gould and Deputy Andrew Buen, both are facing charges of reckless endangerment in the death of Christian Glass. Buen is also facing second-degree murder and official misconduct charges while Gould is also facing a charge of negligent homicide.
Both deputies were arrested after being indicted, Buen was later released after posting $50,000 bond, while Gould got out after posting $2,500 bond.
Indictments, bodycam video describe what happened in Glass incident
Glass called 911 after getting his Honda Pilot stuck on a boulder while attempting to make a U-turn on a road off of Interstate 70 in Silver Plume on June 11. The indictments said dispatch asked Glass if he had weapons in the car and he let them know he had a small knife and hammer but said he “would throw them from the vehicle when help arrived.”
When Buen and Deputy Timothy Collins arrived, Glass told them the weapons he had and offered to throw them out the window. Buen instructed him not to do that, according to the indictment.
Georgetown Police Chief Randall Williams, Idaho Springs Police Officer Brittany Morrow, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Ryan Bennie, and Colorado Gaming Commission Officers Krista Lloyd and Mary Harris were all on scene as backup for the Clear Creek County deputies, the indictment said.
The documents said that Williams and Morrow attempted to coax Glass out of the vehicle by conversing with him in a “helpful and understanding manner” through the driver’s side window. While Buen’s interactions with Glass varied from “conversational in tone to being verbally aggressive.”
Collins attempted to speak to Glass during Buen’s conversations but Buen “appears not to have picked up on any of the verbal cues or offers from Deputy Collins to help with communication with Mr. Glass,” the indictment said.
During the incident, Buen and Collins were communicating with Gould on a cell phone and Buen muted his body-worn camera audio while speaking with Gould who instructed them to get Glass out of the vehicle.
The documents said, at the time of the phone conversation, Gould was remotely watching the encounter through a feature with deputies’ body cameras.
Law Enforcement Procedural Expert James Allbee told FOX31 that is common for supervisors to do.
“For any major critical incidents, supervisors and administration is able to log in, at any point in time, with the Axon database platform that’s used for most law enforcement agencies,” Allbee said.
“They’re able to remotely log in so they can specifically see exactly what’s going on and what that officer is seeing in real-time and be able to help facilitate the best way to handle these calls.”
The document said, at the point when Gould made the decision to get Glass out of the vehicle, no one on the scene had made a determination that there was probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed or was being committed.
During the standoff, Bennie can be heard on his dash camera video asking what the plan is and why Clear Creek deputies don’t just leave if Glass isn’t wanted for a crime.
“If there’s no crime and he’s not suicidal, homicidal or a great danger, then there’s no reason to contact him,” Bennie said.
As seen in the bodycam video and described in the indictments, Buen busted out the passenger side front window, then shot him with bean bags six times. One of the bean bags busted out the rear window and Williams and Buen then deployed their Tasers at Glass.
The document said Glass then swung the knife in panic and self-defense and when Williams attempted to open the driver’s side rear door, Glass swung the knife in his direction. Buen then “fired his service pistol five times into Mr. Glass.”
After removing Glass from the vehicle and rendering life-saving measures, Glass died at the scene and the coroner’s office listed his cause of death as a homicide from gunshot wounds.
In the indictment, the grand jury states there is no reason to believe that Glass would have been a danger to any law enforcement personnel, to himself, or to any member of the public, and the decision to remove him from the vehicle directly lead to the death of Glass.
The next court date for Gould and Buen, the only two first responders facing charges as of Nov. 28, is set for Dec. 12 at 9 a.m.