Man wanted for kidnapping, sex assault sets house on fire during standoff with police

Posted at 11:41 AM, Mar 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-11 19:18:51-04

GARDEN CITY, Colo. – A man wanted for second-degree kidnapping charges and multiple charges of sex assault was taken to a hospital after he set his house on fire during an hour-long standoff with police Saturday night.

Police received information that Anthony Griego, 45, was barricaded inside a home in the area of 27th Street and 7th Avenue in Garden City, according to a Greeley Police Department spokesperson.

A relative of Griego told police he was tampering with the stove and gas line in the house and was possibly trying to cause an explosion or fire.

Neighbors were told to leave the area.

"I walked out of my house and there were two police officers with AR-15s. They told us to just grab everything and just leave as fast as possible," said Daniel Hilderbrand, who lived next door to where Griego lived.

Soon after, officers could see smoke coming from the house and approximately 20 minutes later, Griego came out and was taken into custody without incident. He was taken to North Colorado Medical Center for smoke inhalation and burns to his body.

"“He didn’t have his shirt on. He just laid on the ground and they were screaming at him. Smoke was coming out of the house when he exited. It was kinda crazy," Hilderbrand said.

Investigators who went into the home found evidence of attempted arson.

A Denver7 crew was set to report from the scene Sunday morning and noticed smoke coming from both ends of the home. The crew called 911 which dispatched members of the Greeley Fire Department.

"It sounds like there were several fires that were lit inside the house inside. One of those fires smoldered overnight and did so until there was enough smoke to visible on the outside," Greeley Firefighter Kevin Maloney told Denver7 investigative reporter Jace Larson.

Griego has four active arrest warrants with no bond and additional charges following Saturday’s fire including arson, a class 3 felony and criminal mischief, a class 5 felony.

Court records show Griego has had a long history with police in Colorado. 

He has been arrested repeatedly for domestic violence, and has also been arrested on charges of assault, menacing along with child abuse, kidnapping and resisting arrest. 

It’s unclear if Griego has been assigned an attorney of public defender.