As we've reported, Denver police Officer John Adsit was critically injured in a crash that took place while he was on crowd-control duty during a December 3 East High School student walk-out prompted by a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury's no-indictment decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown. He remains hospitalized at this writing -- but now comes word that while he was fighting for his life, eighteen-year-old Emmanuel Gutierrez allegedly stole his car and tried to sell his badge. Photos, video, details and more below.
Around 10 a.m. on the 3rd, we noted that approximately 500 students walked out of East. Some demonstrators reportedly headed toward the State Captiol and the 16th Street Mall, while others wound up on Colfax, where East is located, blocking traffic at the Colfax-Broadway intersection.
Adsit was among a number of bike-patrol officers assigned to the march. Here's a Denver Police Department shot of the unit, as shared by CBS4....
...as well as DPD-supplied shots of Officer Adsit.... ...and Officer Darren Ulrich; he was also seriously hurt in the crash, which took place around noon. 7News was among the many news agencies on hand at the protest and grabbed this image of the black Mercedes that hit the officers near Colfax and High Street: Adsit was rushed to the hospital, where his condition stabilized -- and according to Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough, his family booked a room at the Towne Place Suites hotel, at 685 Speer Boulevard, so they'd be near Denver Health, where he was receiving treatment.
Shortly thereafter, insult was added to injury.
On December 19, according to the probable cause statement in his name (see it below), Gutierrez, who worked as a maintenance man at the hotel, is said to have entered the Adsit family's room and took the keys to Adsit's personal vehicle. He then found the car in the parking lot and drove off, the report maintains.
Next, the statement accuses Gutierrez of driving the car to the 700 block of North Fox Street and swiping a number of items from the center console -- including Adsit's badge.
Cut to January 5, when Gutierrez allegedly posted a photo of of the badge, among other things, on social media and offered it for sale.
The pic isn't on Gutierrez's Facebook page, which remains online at this writing, but the gallery includes a number of portraits, including the one at the top of this post as well as another man-in-the-mirror shot:
Afterward, Gutierrez was busted on what are described as "outstanding arrest warrants" and quizzed by detectives, at which time the PC statement says he "admitted to these events."
DA's office rep Kimbrough says Gutierrez has now been charged with second-degree burglary, aggravated motor-vehicle theft and first-degree criminal trespass, all felonies. "I don't know if he was aware of who the victims were," she adds. "But certainly for the family, it adds another level of victimization in what was already a tragic set of circumstances."
Look below to see a CBS4 piece about the Gutierrez bust, followed by the aforementioned arrest report.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.