Update: It's déjà vu all over again. Earlier this month, we reported about the reported stabbing of Zachary Meints, a former youth hockey coach who pleaded guilty to Internet sexual exploitation a couple of years back after he was caught sending explicit texts to teen players. See our previous coverage below.
Now, Meints says he's been stabbed a second time. The claim suggests Meints is being stalked -- if it's true, that is. Here's the latest.
Back in 2011 and 2012, we reported that Meints, a volunteer coach for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, a team composed of players age fifteen and under, had been busted for highly dubious texts -- like challenging his charges to "masturbation races" and then asking his fellow competitors to send him photos proving that they'd completed the course.
Then, on March 31, Meints reported that he'd been stabbed by a mysterious, black-clad man as he arrived home at his parents' place in Lafayette, where he's been living.
The following crime was still under investigation when, just over a week later, Meints told authorities he'd been stabbed again.
This time, according to the Boulder Police Department, Meints said the attack took place on the 2100 block of Pine Street. As you'll notice in the following interactive graphic (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), the location is a residential section of Boulder within view of Whittier International Elementary School.
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Meints told the BPD that he was walking in the neighborhood around 3 p.m. yesterday, April 8, when an unknown man stabbed him in the stomach with a folding knife and then fled -- and if anyone else saw the attack, a department rep doesn't make note of it. Afterward, Meints, who says he tried to pepper spray the assailant but thinks he missed, drove himself to a local hospital.
The wound itself is not thought to be serious.
The description of the suspect shared by the BPD is vague: a five-feet-ten-inch, 175-pound white male of medium build and unknown age wearing a black-and-white bandanna over his face and a long-sleeve black shirt.
The department adds that investigators "do not believe there is a threat to public safety" -- perhaps due to their theory that Meints was specifically targeted, or maybe because they think he's making the whole thing up. Apropos of the latter, 9News leads off its latest update with anchor Kyle Clark implying that either what happened is flat-out bizarre or a hoax by someone with a desperate need to be seen in a sympathetic light.
Here's the 9News piece, followed by our previous coverage.
Continue to read our coverage of Zachary Meints's previous stabbing claim, including photos and video. Original post, 5:30 a.m. April 1: Back in 2011 and 2012, Zachary Meints's name was in the headlines for a most unfortunate reason: The onetime youth hockey coach had been accused (and was ultimately convicted) of sending sexually explicit text messages to players, with topics including what were referred to as masturbation races.
Now, Meints has returned to the news, this time because an unknown assailant stabbed him in the back. Photos, video and more below.
As we reported, Meints had served as a volunteer coach for assorted Boulder Hockey Club squads for the couple of years prior to late 2011, working with skaters between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. His last gig was tutoring players on the fifteen-and-under Rocky Mountain RoughRiders team while working at the Boulder Valley Ice rink in Superior. He was sacked from the coaching gig in late September, but parents and their kids didn't know why.
After Meints was arrested that December, parents of players were upset to discover that six Boulder Hockey Club officials had known about allegations against him since early October.
As for his supposed offenses, they're detailed in an arrest warrant that was unsealed in 2012 around the time Meints pleaded guilty to one count of Internet sexual exploitation. According to multiple victims cited in the document, Meints engaged in seemingly benign communication about hockey via text message and Facebook before bringing up far more suspect topics, like penis size, pornography, sex toys and their frequency of masturbation.
This last subject appears to have been a particular fascination. Meints is said to have asked his teen charges to masturbate while they chatted online or participate in what were described as "masturbation races" and then send him photos afterward to show that they'd crossed the finish line, as it were.
In August 2012, Meints was reportedly sentenced to a decade's worth of sex offender intensive supervised probation, with another ten years of registration as a sex offender scheduled to kick in after that.
Fast-forward to this week, when the Boulder County home where Meints lives with his parents was burglarized. The address is on Snowpeak Lane near Baseline, accessible by the private road captured in this interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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Thus far, police aren't saying if the break-in is related to what happened to Meints yesterday afternoon, or that the stabbing was motivated by his previous offenses. But neither are they ruling out these possibilities.
At about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, 911 dispatchers received a call from the Snowpeak Lane address. Upon their arrival, Meints, who's now 26, told deputies that after arriving at home and dismounting from his car, he was assaulted from behind by a male clad in black.
All black, in fact. The man is said to have worn a black hoodie and a black mask.
The Boulder Daily Camera notes that Meints was stabbed twice in the back. However, the severity of his injuries is unknown at this time. He was transported to an area hospital but wasn't listed as a patient later in the day, and the BCSO claims to be unaware of his location.
After speaking with Meints, deputies, joined by police officers from Lafayette and Louisville using a search dog, went through the area but were unable to find a suspect. No vehicle description is available; the assailant appears to have split on foot.
Look below to see a Daily Camera video featuring BCSO spokeswoman Heidi Prentup detailing the case. That's followed by a 9News package from the time of Meints's arrest.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Kyle Kvasnicka, Concordia volleyball coach, busted for Internet child luring in Colorado."