| Crime |

Scott Mendias, shot after reaching for toy gun, had been jailed over "Persian terrorist" incident

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

There's a lot of weirdness circling around 32-year-old Scott Mendias. Right now, he's recovering from a gunshot wound at the hands of police after he allegedly reached for what turned out to be a toy weapon -- an incident only slightly less bizarre than one that had landed him behind bars only weeks earlier.

The strange tale comes to us via the Fort Collins Coloradoan. According to the paper, Mendias has been busted ten times since 2005 for various infractions -- harassment, domestic violence, theft, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence and more.

He added to this big-house laundry list on October 24, when Fort Collins cops responded to a report of a man acting oddly near an Old Town liquor store. A staffer there told cops Mendias had been standing outside the business waving a blanket on a stick like a flag, rapping on the windows, and calling him a "Persian terrorist."

This imaginative display earned him a stint behind bars that ended on November 22. And how long after his release did it take for Mendias to stir things up again? Three whole days.

On November 25 at 2:06 p.m., police say they received a citizen's report of a man with a gun near Laurel Street and College Avenue.That man turned out to be Mendias, who was said to have been "acting crazy" -- really? -- and was spattered in blood.

This red stuff may have been phony, but what followed was plenty real. Officer Michael Crosland spotted what looked like a gun in the waistband of Mendias's trousers and ordered him to keep his hands away from it. Instead, he apparently reached for it, at which point Crosland shot him in the stomach.

What was Mendias's weapon? The FCPD describes it as "a plastic handgun-replica designed to shoot plastic projectiles."

At first, Mendias's condition was considered critical, but the Coloradoan notes that he's improved in recent days and appears to be out of danger. Thus far, he hasn't been charged with anything in relation to the most recent incident. Meanwhile, doctors caring for him would be well advised to check into issues that go beyond the chunk of lead that tore through his abdomen. Here's a larger look at a recent Mendias booking photo.

Click here to follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement: New bill seeks to stop the madness."

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.