Man causes $5k worth of damage with hatchet at Aurora Target, police say

Posted at 11:33 AM, Apr 15, 2022

AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora Target had to be evacuated Thursday night after a man armed with a hatchet allegedly caused more than $5,000 worth of damage.

Aurora officers responded to the Target near Parker and Arapahoe roads shortly after 7 p.m. for reports of a man harassing employees, entering into “employees only” areas of the store and shoplifting.

The man, later identified as 38-year-old John Speier, left the store but then returned, according to police. When he came back, investigators said he had armed himself with a hatchet. It was not clear whether it was his own or if he had taken it from the store.

A large number of officers responded because Speier was armed with a weapon and due to his “erratic behavior,” Aurora police said. The store was evacuated, and police were able to take Speier into custody.

No one was hurt during the incident.

The Aurora Police Department did not provide further details on what Speier allegedly damaged inside the store.

Speier was taken to jail and charged with criminal mischief.