Crime

Bad Colorado Cops on Parade: Four Arrested in 47 Days

(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.
(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
After Loveland Police Officer Austin Hopp was sentenced to five years in prison last week for the rough 2020 arrest of elderly dementia patient Karen Garner, attorney Sarah Schielke of The Life & Liberty Law Firm, who represents Garner and her family, tweeted that she had "checked 'send a bad police officer to prison' off [her] bucket list."

Such cops aren't in short supply these days. Four Colorado law enforcement officers from three jurisdictions were arrested between March 18 and May 4, a span of just 47 days, including two from the Colorado Springs Police Department and one each from the sheriff's offices in Weld and Teller County. Charges against them include stalking, kidnapping, child abuse, burglary, menacing, domestic violence and harassment.

The first arrest in this streak involved Colorado Springs Police 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."

At last report, Reed remained on paid administrative leave from the CSPD.

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 Teller County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior. This in no way reflects on the mission, integrity and dedication of its employees. This was a decision that Mr. Bisset made alone and off duty. This decision was not conducted under the authority of a peace officer, and was again his personal decision. Effective immediately Mr. Bisset has been terminated and is no longer an employee with the Teller County Sheriff’s Office."

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 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. By month's end, Maedel had resigned from the department.

Finally, late on Wednesday, May 4, the Colorado Springs Police Department revealed that Officer Stephanie Landreneau had been arrested for felony stalking. "This is still an active and ongoing investigation, and no further information will be released until appropriate to do so," the CSPD release states, adding that Landreneau is currently on administrative leave.

Maedel, Bisset, Reed and Landreneau are hardly the first Colorado cops to learn what it's like to wear handcuffs as opposed to fitting them on others. For proof, see this 2014 roundup about eight Denver police officers in trouble for offenses ranging from departmental violations (like keeping 600 nude photos on a work cell phone) to alleged assaults and solicitation of a prostitute.

But the latest four will give prosecutors and other attorneys a chance to work on bucket lists of their own.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts