Earlier this year, Stephen Hamper was found guilty on multiple counts in the beating of a Denver police officer whom he said he would have killed if only he'd been able to get hold of her gun. Since that ruling, he's been hit with three more charges of assaulting law enforcers while in custody awaiting a hearing to determine if he's a habitual criminal.
Our previous coverage, which has been incorporated into this post, dates back to shortly after Hamper's September 6, 2014, bust.
According to the affidavit in the case, the bizarre incident spiraled out of control shortly after Officer Aubree Thompson responded to a call about a homeless man, later identified as Hamper, who was trying to wash his clothes in a drainage grate at a very busy place — the Downing Street off-ramp to Interstate 25.
The document describes Hamper as acting "strange" when Thompson attempted to handcuff him. Before the restraints could do their work, he allegedly wheeled and punched her several times in the face.
Next, the report continues, Hamper raced toward the police cruiser only to return and continue his assault. Additional punches to the face and body are said to have brought Thompson to the ground.
At that point, Hamper allegedly climbed on top of the officer, resumed his face-punching and tried to grab her gun — something she was able to prevent by pinning his hand against her body.
Still, there's no telling how long she might have been able to hold him off if it weren't for the timely arrival of passersby Tyler and Holly Ingels, as well as Mike Guillan.
Between the three of them, they were able to get Hamper off Thompson long enough for the officer to take him into custody — no easy trick, since she was injured seriously enough to require immediate hospitalization.
As for Hamper, we found a slew of criminal records in his name, including a 2011 assault on a police officer in Edmond, Oklahoma, and a 2013 Larimer County bust that included driving on a suspended, denied or canceled license, DUI/DWAI and obstruction of a peace officer or fireman.
Hamper is quoted in the affidavit as saying afterward, "If I would have gotten her gun, I would have killed her. You guys kill children and old ladies."
This past March, approximately two and a half years after the attack, Hamper's two-day trial ended with the jury returning guilty verdicts for first-degree assault — serious bodily injury/deadly weapon; second-degree assault of a police officer; a criminal attempt to disarm a peace officer; and second-degree assault — custody/peace officer. He was found not guilty on one additional charge: first-degree assault — threaten peace officer/gun.
At the time of this decision, the Denver District Attorney's Office announced that Hamper would return to court on June 2 for a hearing that would determine if he qualifies as a habitual criminal — a finding that can be used as a sentencing enhancer. But that hearing was delayed and is now scheduled for October 27 — the same date he'll be arraigned on three additional charges. According to DA's office spokesman Ken Lane, Hamper faces one count of in-custody assault on a peace officer over an April 1 incident and two more in regard to events on July 7.
Putting Hamper behind bars doesn't appear to have ended his antipathy for law enforcers — and may have actually amplified it.
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