Two suspects who continue to evade arrest at this writing broke into the house, and in the scuffle that followed, one resident was bashed in the head with a bong and had to be taken to a hospital.
Lt. Jared Crone of the Fort Morgan Police Department shares details about the incident, which took place at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday at a home near the intersection of Deuel St. and West Railroad Avenue.
Thus far, the investigation shows that two male suspects wearing dark clothing and bandannas over their face "broke into the house through a window and used some pepper spray or pepper mace on one of the subjects," he says. "In the ensuing altercation, a glass bong was used to hit one of the victims and caused an injury to his head. He was ultimately transported to a hospital." That victim, Aaron Simons, has since been released.
The home was occupied by three people: Jessie Thompson, Rodrick Boltjes and Simons. Thompson identified herself to police as a medical marijuana caregiver. Taken during the invasion was a backpack containing medical marijuana and a significant amount of cash. Thompson valued the items stolen at nearly $2,000, with additional damage estimated at more than $300.
Bet part of that pertained to the bong.
Because the two suspects remain at large, Crone doesn't know if they broke into the house specifically because they knew they'd find medical marijuana inside. "That's one of the potential avenues we can take, but it's not the only avenue we're looking at," he notes. "We'll look at if the house was targeted, or if it was random."
Law-enforcement critics about medical marijuana frequently talk about increased crime associated with it. Take an interview earlier this month with North Metro Task Force Commander Jerry Peters, who said that in his jurisdiction, marijuana seizures are up 380 percent and the black market is growing. But this doesn't seem to be the case in Fort Morgan, a community with a population around 10,000.
Crone says this weekend's robbery/burglary was the first of its type in Fort Morgan since the medical marijuana boom began in Colorado, and he's unaware of an increase in other crimes associated with MMJ. "This was extremely rare," he acknowledges.
For the sake of Simons's skull, that's a good thing.