Sad But True

And God said Ha! (Can you blame Him?)

Denver police lieutenant Dennis Cribari, a 25-year veteran of the force, retired in July before being charged with three counts of felony sex assault on a child.

In June, Denver police officer and photographer Steve Rickard resigned from the force after being arrested for sexual assault, forgery and official misconduct. The charges stemmed from an incident involving a nineteen-year-old woman who had been convicted of offenses in Arapahoe County and assigned to the gang unit to perform court-ordered community service. Rickard allegedly offered to "dispose of" several hours of community service if she would pose topless for him and let him fondle her.

Englewood City Council candidate Casey Stockwell, 39, a member of the city's planning and zoning commission, was due to be sentenced for drunk driving the day after the November election. It was his third alcohol-related conviction. He did not win the seat.

Patrick Merewether

Broomfield City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Thomas W. Brunner was arrested in June for allegedly driving under the influence.

In February, a state trooper clocked Lieutenant Governor Joe Rogers's state-issued vehicle going 101 mph in a 75 mph zone near Sterling. The vehicle was being driven by Russell E. Scott, 24, who was "associated with state government in an unknown capacity," according to the Colorado State Patrol's release.

In June, the City of Denver had to pay Gregory Sanders $100,000 for injuries he suffered when Denver police detective John Wyche ran a red light and hit Sanders's truck.

Denver police intelligence-bureau detective Joel Humphrey was placed on administrative leave in June after being stopped by a state trooper and cited for driving under the influence.

In December, the Denver Police Department came under fire for allowing Ellis Johnson, a thief and former drug user who had already been rejected by a number of other police forces, into the academy. The ensuing media coverage revealed that 66 percent of Johnson's fellow police academy classmates had admitted to using illegal drugs.

Don't Tell Your Parents
Accompanied by his mother, Aspen mayor Rachel Richards, eighteen-year-old Jacob Richards turned himself in at the Pitkin County Courthouse in September and was charged with five felony counts related to the theft of guns and an SUV from an Aspen resident. By the end of the year, Jacob would be just one of ten people identified as belonging to a local crime ring.

Bad Grandchildren
In March, seventeen-year-old Jason Spivey of Morrison was charged with first-degree murder after he told police he'd killed his grandmother; he was also accused of sexually assaulting her. In addition, Spivey had stabbed his grandmother's dog, Mopsy, who survived.

Nineteen-year-old Timothy Pearson of Pueblo was arrested in February, having admitted that he and a friend had strangled his 84-year-old grandmother and driven her body to Ludlow, where they set fire to it. In December, Pearson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

In December, fourteen-year-old John Engel of Longmont was accused of stabbing his grandmother to death and killing his mother; he allegedly hit his father with a hammer, but his father fought off the attack until police arrived.

Random Acts of Violence
In October, Sierra Wilde was walking along Broadway in Boulder when pain pierced her side. She later found a blow-dart lodged inside her fleece jacket.

In April, nine Boulder police and three University of Colorado officers converged on an apartment building near the Angle Pines Country Club golf course, where they arrested two teenagers and accused them of shooting BBs at golfers from an apartment balcony.

In January, three University of Denver students complained that they'd been victimized by students with paintball guns. Two residents of Johnson-MacFarlane Hall said someone had shot at their windows; another student said he was sitting in a car parked outside Centennial Hall when someone fired a paintball gun at him from a dormitory window.

In July, two Thornton men were arrested and charged with battery, discharging a firearm within city limits and attempted criminal mischief for allegedly shooting pedestrians with paintball guns. Westminster police confiscated two semi-automatic paintball guns and two containers designed to hold 200 paintballs each. Only 54 were left.

In August, Denver police thought a passing motorist had fired gunshots through the windshield of a photo-radar van at technician Christopher K. Wilcox. Although police investigators were called to the scene and determined that the van's windshield was indeed shattered, they couldn't find any bullet holes. Later, investigators decided that the damage had been caused by "a piece of gravel."

In March, police asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for help in investigating problems at the Golden Safeway, after an elderly man found a needle in some bulk bean sprouts and a plumber bit into a needle in his chocolate mini-doughnut.

The Criminal Mind
Accused drug dealer Cathy Jo Wood appeared in Jefferson County Court in March but apparently disagreed with the guilty verdict. After "verbally assaulting" the jury, she was taken into custody, where deputies searched her purse and found eight rocks of methamphetamine -- ten to twenty times more than the amount she had just been convicted of possessing.

In June, Ronald Fogle walked away from the Denver County Jail. He'd been charged with robbing a Payless shoe store twice the previous fall. On his first attempt, a store employee told him the safe was on a ten-minute delay and he'd have to wait, so he left. Exactly one week later, he came back and again demanded money; the same employee again told him he'd have to wait. Fogle then asked the employee to go with him to the back of the store, but the beeper on the safe went off, spooking him. He ran out the back door, where he was caught by police.

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