At 4:30 a.m. today, Lakewood Police Department and West Metro SWAT reps took custody of Sean Wyles, a wanted fugitive linked to the 211 prison gang.
Wyles didn't go easily. According to LPD Detective Ryan McKone, he claimed law enforcers would never take him alive, prompting a standoff that lasted more than five hours and included the use of tear gas and flash-bang grenades.
Details and more below.
If the 211 Crew's name sounds familiar, it should.
Among the gang's most infamous alleged members was Evan Ebel, who is thought to have murdered pizza-delivery man Nathan Leon and Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements earlier this year, after being mistakenly released early on parole.
Following a lengthy car chase, Ebel was killed in a gunfight with law enforcers in Texas in the days following the Colorado slayings.
The LPD's McKone knows of no evidence connecting Wyles to the killings of Leon and Clements. Moreover, he acknowledges that most of Wyles's offenses, with the exception of beefs like fighting in public, were nonviolent in nature. "He was under habitual-criminal status," he says, "and had prior escapes, lots of prior escapes, and false reporting, criminal impersonation, forgery, fraud."
Most recently, McKone reveals, Wyles had slipped away from a Department of Corrections facility in Colorado and was at large. Then, at around 11 p.m. yesterday, he goes on, "officers working various tips and leads were able to track him down" at a motel in the vicinity of 6th Avenue and Kipling, an area seen in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Marijuana Deals Near You
Initially, McKone notes, "he said, 'You're not going to take me alive' -- so the SWAT team was activated. They made attempts to get him to peacefully surrender, but those were unsuccessful. So the SWAT team began taking non-lethal measures to try to coax him out."
The aforementioned methods included tear gas and flash-bang grenades, McKone points out.
Finally, about five and a half hours after the siege began, "the team forced entry into the room where he was hiding and were able to safely take him into custody," McKone says.
Was Wyles armed, and if so, with what? McKone says those questions should be answered shortly, as will the matter of charges, which are expected to include failure to obey a lawful command and more.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
In the meantime, McKone confirms that no injuries took place. "The good guys are okay and the bad guy is okay, too."
Physically, anyhow. Here's a larger look at Wyles's most recent DOC booking photo.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa March: "Evan Ebel's feces-smeared prison records and straw-purchase controversy."