Last week, Denver Police officer Robert Motyka was shot amid a police chase in which one suspect was killed and four others were arrested. Now, the Denver DA's Office has released one of this quartet but charged the other three -- Chuck Montoya, Jude Montoya and Michael Valdez -- with multiple counts of attempted first-degree murder and more. Arrest documents-plus below.
John Montoya, the dead man, is thought to have prompted the series of events that led to the January 16 incident by his reaction to the death of his baby daughter in Thornton that morning. The child's death isn't thought to have involved any foul play, but her father's grief reportedly led to him holding a relative at gunpoint before going on what the Denver Post describes as a "mini-crime spree," including unspecified gunplay in Aurora and Montbello.
As for the chase and its aftermath, the details are spelled out in probable cause statements in the names of Chuck, Jude and Michael Valdez.
At about 3:12 p.m. on the 16th, the report says, DPD officers spotted a red truck that matched a description from the Thornton matter -- but when they tried to stop the vehicle, its driver rabbited instead.
Beginning at about West 43rd Avenue and Lipan Street, the pursuit was marked by shots from the truck at two cops on their tail, who returned fire. More police joined in, and a few minutes later, one officer reported that the vehicle had tried to run him over. Then Motyka (one of the defendants in a highly publicized 2011 police-brutality lawsuit) reported that he'd been shot. The injuries weren't life threatening, and he's said to be recovering from his wounds.
Finally, the truck crashed into a tree near West 39th Avenue and Osage Street. One person -- Jude -- ran from the scene but was subsequently arrested. Captured on the spot were Chuck, rounded up with the help of a police dog, and Valdez, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Also on hand was a woman identified by the Post as Alyssa Moralez.
Who was shooting at the cops?
In an interview that's included in the PC statement, Jude is vague about the people behind the guns. He says he was in the passenger portion of the truck with an unidentified male and female -- the latter obviously Moralez -- while Chuck (Jude's uncle, as was John) occupied the pickup's bed along with someone he knew as "Spike" (by the process of elimination, Valdez). An unidentified person shot at the police from inside the truck's cab, while another one did likewise from the truck bed.
In the end, the DA's office didn't issue charges for Moralez, for reasons the folks there have yet to elaborate upon. But Chuck and Jude Montoya, plus Valdez, are all named in four counts of attempted first-degree murder and five first-degree-assault. beefs. The three remain in custody.
No booking photos are available on the suspects, since they were transported directly to the hospital after the crash. Look below to see a 9News report from the day of the chase, followed by the aforementioned probable cause statements.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Robert Motyka, Denver police officer, shot in high-speed chase; one suspect dead, four caught."