Family of accused kidnapper says he’s innocent


Photo: Weld County District Attorney’s Office

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JOHNSTOWN, Colo. — Police arrested a 38-year old Johnstown man who is accused of kidnapping and assaulting a 16-year-old girl who was reported missing.

David Calderon made his first appearance in Weld County Court Friday. More than a dozen of his family members were in the courtroom to show their support for him and proclaim his innocence.

He faces kidnapping and unlawful sexual contact charges.

“My brother is a very strong person he’s a very good person. I don’t understand what is going on. We’re all devastated,” says his sister. They were clearly upset and outspoken. “We’re confused. This has just been a mess for all of us.”

Calderon’s sister says the teenage girl’s accusations just aren’t true. “And for this little girl to just come in out of nowhere and do all this, to hurt us in this way…”

Calderon appeared from jail via a closed circuit TV link. The judge set his bail at $200,000.

A search for the teenager began late Wednesday when it was reported she hadn’t been seen or heard from since late Tuesday night. She was found safe Thursday morning less than 1/2 mile from the Johnstown police department.

She is now considered a victim of kidnapping and unlawful sexual contact.

At 7:45 a.m. Thursday at a house in the 300 block of Maestas St. in Johnstown a teenage girl rang the doorbell.

“She indicated she had left the house while David was sleeping, where she had been held since Tuesday night,” says the man who answered the door.

The girl told the man, who doesn’t want to be identified, that she escaped from a home across the street where police say David Calderon, 38, lived in a converted garage. He was arrested on a number of charges.

Photo: Weld County District Attorney's Office
Photo: Weld County District Attorney’s Office

The neighbor says the girl seemed calm.

“She indicated that on Tuesday night while walking through the Hays Market parking lot, he stopped and asked if he could borrow a cigarette lighter. She said she didn’t smoke, didn’t have one. And then she indicated he pulled her into the vehicle and drove her here,” says the witness.

Police say she was last seen about 8 p.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of S. Hays Ave.

“I was surprised, taken aback that it was right here on this street that she was last seen,” says an unidentified neighbor of Hays Ave.

By 10:50 p.m., she was asking for help through text messages and Facebook.

She said she was with a guy named “Dave” and that she was “scared.” She also wrote, “call the police.”

“He pulled her on top of him and grabbed her butt,” the neighbor says the girl told him.

“It’s really shocking, bringing that close to the family and everything,” says neighbor Zack Espinosa.

The 38-year-old lives behind his sister and next door to his parents.

His family frequently walked in and out of each others’ homes after his arrest.

“I’m surprised his family didn’t go check on him or anything and I’m surprised he had her here for two days without [anyone knowing]. We didn’t even know that too,” says neighbor Cesar Hernandez.

The alleged crime and the arrest happened just a block-and-a-half away from the Johnstown Police Department.

“We are definitely relieved–regardless of the circumstances. She was missing. Her family was very concerned and upset,” says Police Chief Brian Phillips.

Calderon faces a number of charges:
— Second degree kidnapping
— false imprisonment
— Unlawful sexual contact
— Felony menacing
— Child abuse
— Assault in the third degree

He has a criminal record that dates back to 1998 and 1999. It stayed clean until 2012, when he was arrested on several drug charges.

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