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Greeley Parolee Found Guilty of Assault on Police Officers
Posted on 01/13/2017

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) - A parolee shot by Greeley police while brandishing a knife has been found guilty of assault on three police officers.

Today in Weld County District Court, a jury convicted Joseph Valentino Perez, 29, on 9 counts, including 1st Degree Assault on a Peace Officer, two counts of Attempted 1st Degree Assault on a Peace Officer, 2nd Degree Assault on a Peace Officer, four counts of felony Menacing and 3rd Degree Assault.

If all counts run consecutively, Perez faces up to 100 years in the Department of Corrections.

According to court testimony, Perez was intoxicated in the early morning hours of January 25, 2016 and causing a disturbance at the home, located at 1327 16th Avenue in Greeley. Witnesses said he pushed his girlfriend to the ground and was acting erratic.  When police arrived, however, he had already left the scene.

Sometime later, Perez returned to the home and grabbed a kitchen knife and held it to his mother's neck. By the time police arrived, Perez was in the basement threatening suicide. Officers found Perez in the basement, stabbing himself in the stomach with the knife. He then lunged at them with the weapon.

Initially, police used a Taser, but it didn't stop him. An officer eventually shot him twice to stop the attack.

“The defendant had a plan, and that plan was suicide by cop,” said Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia. “He was being pursued by police and decided he would rather die than be arrested and sent back to prison. But that plan failed, and now he must be held accountable for the lives he put in danger.”

Following the incident in January, the Critical Incident Response Team led an investigation into the officers' actions, and on April 5, 2016, District Attorney Michael Rourke cleared those officers in the shooting. Today, the jury stood by the facts of the case and found the defendant guilty after three and a half hours of  deliberation.

Perez will return to court on March 10 at 8:30 a.m. for sentencing.