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Denver County deputy arrested after New Year's Day hit-and-run crash

Posted at 8:52 PM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 22:54:12-05

AURORA, Colo. — A Denver County deputy was arrested after he allegedly crashed his car into a King Soopers warehouse on New Year's Day and then reported it stolen, the Denver Sheriff Department announced Wednesday.

According to court documents, officers with the Aurora Police Department responded to a hit-and-run crash in the 1900 block of Tower Road just before 7 a.m. on New Year's Day. The crash happened hours earlier around 2:40 a.m.

A white 2023 Subaru Legacy had struck a concrete barrier and pole at the King Soopers warehouse. The Subaru suffered major front-end damage, the arrest affidavit states.

The person who found the crash told officers they saw a man in his 20s talking on his phone, according to court documents. The man was wearing all black and walked away as the person arrived.

The damage to the barrier and pole is estimated to cost $15,000.

The Subaru was registered to Jeremiah Edwardo Espinoza-Young, 30. Investigators went to Espinoza-Young's registered address and spoke with his brother, who said Espinoza-Young had moved to Green Valley Ranch.

According to the affidavit, the brother said he received a call at 2:46 a.m. from Espinoza-Young but was asleep and didn't answer. The brother tried to call Espinoza-Young, who didn't answer.

The brother then called his mother, who is also Espinoza-Young's mother. The woman told officers her son had also called her early in the morning.

Around 10:44 a.m., Espinoza-Young called Aurora police and said his vehicle was stolen in Denver and was involved in a crash. According to court documents, Espinoza-Young told investigators he woke up to go to work and realized his vehicle was gone. He said he called the Denver Police Department and filed a report.

The officer asked Espinoza-Young why he called his mother and brother earlier that day around the time of the crash. Espinoza-Young said he wished them a Happy New Year because he had woken up around then, the affidavit states. The officer reportedly then asked why Espinoza-Young matched a witness's description of a man who was by the vehicle earlier in the day. Espinoza-Young told the investigator he did not crash the car, according to court documents.

Investigators called Espinoza-Young again on Jan. 3 and "advised him the importance of speaking the truth." He then told the officer he was driving at the time of the crash, the affidavit states.

According to court documents, Espinoza-Young said he was driving home after hanging out with friends when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a barrier. Espinoza-Young told the investigator he "panicked and took off" but didn't know why he did because "he didn't have any alcohol in his system," according to the affidavit.

Espinoza-Young then told the investigator he was a deputy with the Denver Sheriff Department and that he reported his vehicle stolen to Denver police, according to the affidavit.

Espinoza-Young was arrested by the Adams County Sheriff's Office for attempting to influence a public servant, false reporting to authorities, leaving the scene after striking unattended property and careless driving.

The Denver Sheriff Department placed Espinoza-Young on "investigatory leave" on Jan. 3. The Office of the Independent Monitor was made aware, and the Public Integrity Division is conducting an investigation, according to the department.

Espinoza-Young joined the department in 2016 and is assigned to the Denver County Jail.

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