Denver man agrees to 364-day extreme risk protection order, allows police to keep 2 handguns

Police: Man threatened himself, wife with gun
denver police tape.jpg
Posted at 2:40 PM, Jan 15, 2020

DENVER – A Denver probate court on Tuesday approved a 364-day extreme risk protection order for a Denver man who gave up two guns to Denver police in late December after he allegedly threatened himself and his wife with a handgun during and after a dispute.

A Denver police sergeant filed a petition on Jan. 2 for a 14-day temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO) against the 26-year-old man, whom Denver7 is not naming because prosecutors declined to press charges against him. A hearing had been set for Jan. 16 to determine if a longer ERPO would be put in place for the man.

But the man and his attorney came to an agreement on a permanent order, which was filed Tuesday in Denver Probate Court, that the man will allow police to keep custody of his two semi-automatic handguns for a 364-day period that started Tuesday.

According to the stipulation, the man, his court-appointed ERPO attorney and city attorney’s office agreed there was “clear and convincing evidence” that the man risked personal injury or injury to others by being allowed to get his weapons back. The document shows the man waived his right to an ERPO hearing.

But he will still be able to appeal the order or any subsequent ERPO renewals if he so chooses.

The Denver police sergeant filed the petition against the man after an incident that happened at the man and his wife’s apartment on S. Balsam Way on Dec. 29.

The man and his wife had been in an argument and physical altercation, during which his wife allegedly hit him in the head with a bottle and he pulled out a handgun and allegedly pointed it in the direction of his wife and her sister, according to the ERPO petition.

The man told police he planned to “off” himself after the argument that night, and the next day, he told officers again during an interview that he was “contemplating doing something bad to [himself],” according to the petition. He gave officers one gun the night of the incident and another on Dec. 31.

The Denver sergeant who wrote the petition said he was seeking the extreme risk protection order because the man “made suicidal statements regarding a firearm to both the responding officers the night of the incident, Dec. 29th, 2019, and the investigating detective, December 31st, 2019.”

The Denver District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against the man or his wife, so the police department sought guidance on whether to give the man’s guns back to him despite his suicidal statements, according to the petition.

The 364-day order is the longest that a full “red flag” protection order can be issued for in Colorado. Denver police can also petition to renew the ERPO, at which time the man would have another opportunity to have a hearing on the issue.

The man will not be able to be in possession of a firearm while the order remains in effect.