Crime

Police Officer Valeri Pedraza Joins Bad Colorado Cops on Parade With Double Arrest

The booking photo of Fort Collins Police Officer Valeri Pedraza.
The booking photo of Fort Collins Police Officer Valeri Pedraza.
Another police officer has just joined "Bad Colorado Cops on Parade," a May 9 post that detailed the arrest of four law enforcement officers over a span of 47 days: Fort Collins Police Services Officer Valeri Pedraza was busted twice in two days.

According to a May 31 FCPS news release, the agency received a report on May 29 about "a domestic violence situation" involving the 31-year-old Pedraza, who was off duty at the time. The call was forwarded to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, which dispatched deputies to an unspecified address. Upon discovery of a victim with what were described as minor injuries, Pedraza was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Protection orders are routinely issued to prevent alleged offenders in domestic-violence cases from contacting their victims. But on the afternoon of May 30, the sheriff's office received a report that Pedraza had made "several phone communications" prohibited by the edict. That led to her second arrest, this time for violation of a protection order, a Class 2 misdemeanor, plus violation of bail bond conditions.

Domestic-violence accusations were also leveled at several of the officers whose recent arrests preceded Pedraza's trip to the hoosegow.
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(From right) Booking photos of former Weld County Sheriff's Deputy John Maedel, ex-Teller County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Bisset, and Colorado Springs Police officers Shane Reed and Stephanie Landreneau.
Weld County Sheriff's Office/Colorado Springs Police Department/Teller County Sheriff's Office
The first arrest in this streak involved Colorado Springs Police Department Officer Shane Reed. According to a CSPD release, a felony investigation into his activities was launched on March 9, and nine days later, on March 18, an arrest warrant was issued in his name for second-degree kidnapping, a Class 4 felony, plus misdemeanor-level child abuse and harassment, described as "strike, shove, kick."

More specifics about Reed surfaced on April 6. In court documents obtained by KKTV, he was accused of attacking a teen who was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with Kristen Wessel, his 31-year-old girlfriend; she's been accused separately of sexual assault on a child for her actions related to the teen. According to one of the docs, Reed pushed the teen against a fence and declared that "he would kill him and nobody would find the body."

Three days later, on April 9, the Teller County Sheriff's Department took to its Facebook page to announce that Deputy Mark Bisset "was arrested this morning and is charged with burglary, felony menacing and trespassing." The TCSO also released Bisset's arrest affidavit, which reports that he allegedly drove to a private residence in the community of Florissant "with two beers in his shirt pocket and a revolver in a holster on his hip." After identifying himself as a Teller County deputy, he told a man on the property that he would "kick anyone's ass" and, to reinforce this claim, he returned less than an hour later with a rifle and told the home's inhabitants that if they didn't open they door, "I will kill you."

Arrestee number three was Weld County Sheriff's Office Deputy John Maedel, who's been charged with stalking, domestic violence and harassment. Arrest documents contend that he began texting a woman last December and, over the next few months, started following her and delivering threats that prompted her to seek a temporary restraining order against him.

Finally, late on May 4, the Colorado Springs Police Department revealed that Officer Stephanie Landreneau had been arrested for felony stalking.

As for Pedraza, FCPS Chief Jeff Swoboda stated: "Public trust demands integrity, transparency, and accountability. That’s why our patrol supervisor called on our neighboring agency to handle this call, and it’s why we’re proactively sharing the facts with our community. The investigation will dictate any professional and legal consequences. As an agency, we stand on the side of truth and justice."

Pedraza, who was hired by the FoCo department in 2019, has been placed on administrative leave. Meanwhile, the FCPS release concludes with this addendum: "If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, resources are available. Visit the Crossroads Safehouse website to learn more."