Jury finds man guilty of assaulting three peace officers in 2019
Published on July 01, 2021
GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Greeley man is facing decades in prison after a Weld County jury found him guilty earlier this month of assaulting three law enforcement officers in 2019.
On June 8, 2019, Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Colorado State Patrol troopers, and Greeley Police officers responded to a call of a suspicious person at an active oil drilling site at 10611 Highway 257 in unicorporated Weld County.
The site is located near the entrance to Missile Silo Park, which is a public park.
A worker at the site called 911 after seeing 64-year-old Stephen Garcia with a flare in his hand near tanks that contained highly flammable and explosive gasses.
When the first deputy arrived on scene, she also saw Garcia attempting to ignite the gasses in the tank.
Garcia told the deputy that she needed to leave him alone and said he was going to blow the tank up.
In the meantime, firefighters told responding officers that because the material was highly explosive, there could have been a blast radius of up to a quarter of a mile, and would have put residents, other structures, responding officers, and crew members at the oil site in extreme danger.
The defendant continued to ignore verbal commands, so officers discharged bean bag rounds from a shotgun, which was unsuccessful.
The defendant continued to move toward the tank in an attempt to ignite it, when an officer on scene discharged two rounds from his firearm.
One round struck Garcia’s jaw, and the second round struck his shoulder. He was taken into custody and was later treated at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.
Earlier this month, a jury found him guilty of three counts of first degree assault, criminal attempt to commit possession of an explosive or incendiary device, and reckless endangerment.
The defendant is facing a range of 30 to 96 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 11th at 1:30 p.m. in Division 11.
Deputy District Attorney Christopher Jewkes prosecuted this case.