Over the years, SWAT teams have been called for a variety of loony reasons. But Sunday may have been the first time that a squad was dispatched to deal with a guy on the roof of a school allegedly hurling rocks and chunks of cinderblocks at cops. John Gage, take a bow.
The story comes to us courtesy of the >Loveland Reporter-Herald, which states that Gage, 47, was apparently involved in a car accident early Sunday morning "at the intersection of 57th Street and U.S. 287, where witnesses said he ran a red light at a high rate of speed, hitting another vehicle."
For most of us, that would have been a good day's mayhem. But Gage wasn't through. He next popped up, sans shirt, on the roof of Loveland's Laurene Edmondson Elementary School, where he was said to have attempted to start a fire in addition to yelling and banging on stuff.
The cops were dispatched, but Gage wasn't easily dislodged from the roof. According to Delaney Wade, who lives in the neighborhood, "He was screaming from the roof. He was throwing big chunks of concrete at police and screaming, 'Get the reporters in here! Where are the big boys? I'm saving the big rocks for the big boys.'"
Obviously, at least one reporter eventually turned up -- but so did the SWAT team, which set up a command center and alerted residents about the threat, which could have been much less benign given Gage's alleged fondness for semi-automatic rifles.
In the end, cops decided they'd had enough fun, firing "percussion grenades that spray rubber balls" in the direction of Gage's hiding place, the Reporter-Herald maintains. Shortly thereafter, Gage was taken into custody and carted away while strapped to a stretcher.
And thus ended the rock show.
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.