CU Buff after Airsoft gun police stop: "Go ahead! Shoot me, motherf*cker!"

At first blush, an incident in which several CU Buffs football players weren't charged with a crime doesn't seem all that newsworthy. But a police stop that took place this past weekend continues to ripple through the program, with one player quitting after contributing to a minor panic over an Airsoft gun and coach Jon Embree suspending two others, including wide receiver DaVaughn Thornton, who's quoted in the police report on view below as telling an officer, "Go ahead! Shoot me, motherfucker!"

According to the report, a Boulder Police officer driving on northbound Broadway at just shy of 2 a.m. Saturday morning was flagged down by a woman driving yellow school-type bus. She said she'd seen a passenger in a silver sedan with California license plates waving a gun at a vehicle in the lane next to it -- and both of them were still in view.

The officer responded by flooring it, then going after the sedan, a silver Audi A6, as he called in the gun report -- and the BPD responded in force, sending seven more officers to the scene. The other vehicle, a green BMW, stopped as well. The narrative refers to the technique used as a "felony hot stop" tactic, and it prompted the passengers in the Audi (Anthony Canty, Jeffrey Thomas, Jermane Clark and Jered Bell, all CU Buffs, plus Moses Vigo) and the BMW (players DaVaughn Thornton, Derek Webb, Joshua Moten and Moses' brother Paul) to become "verbally antagonistic," the report claims.

After everyone was taken into custody, Clark asked one of the officers, "What's going on?"

"We received information that there's a gun in the car," the officer replied. A moment later, he asked, "Is there a gun in the car?"

"Yeah," Clark said, "but it's a BB gun."

In fact, the weapon was an Airsoft pistol "labeled and fashioned as a Walther CP99," the report says.

At that point, the document notes that those in the Audi calmed down. But over at the BMW, Thornton, in particular, is said to have kept up the invective. Examples quoted:

"Go ahead! Shoot me, motherfucker!"

"My dad's a sheriff!"

"I can go wherever the fuck I want!"

"This is Boulder and you have your guns out?"

This last question is one that resonated with others in Boulder, particularly given that no charges were filed against anyone involved in lieu of a BPD representative meeting with the CU-Boulder athletic director "to discuss the conduct of the athletes and the impact their behavior had on police services throughout the entire city at the time of the incident." However, Police Chief Mark Beckner justified the actions of his officers in a Daily Camera interview, deeming the operation appropriate.

Meanwhile, Coach Embree took actions of his own, suspending Thornton and Thomas for the first two games of the season. In addition, Clark left the program due to what the Camera describes as a "combination of family issues and his involvement in the incident."

Look below to read the entire police report, followed by two Camera videos: the first featuring Embree's comments, the second showing police footage of the stop itself.

CU Buffs Airsoft Gun Report

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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