Date – January 24th, 2023
The Westminster Police Department is aware of a TikTok video that has been circulating on social media about the arrest of a woman on Saturday January 21, 2023. Below is a brief explanation of what occurred based upon interviews with involved persons, witnesses and after further investigation.
At about 5:30 pm Westminster officers were called to a business in the 9400 block of Sheridan Boulevard. When they arrived, they were confronted with several people who had been in a physical altercation, which included three women in their 20’s and a 74-year-old man. According to witnesses and others involved, the situation began when the man approached the women because their parked car blocked the handicap ramp that led to the store entrance. The man’s wife uses a walker and he was upset that her access to the store was limited. He commented to the women, “thanks for blocking the handicap zone”. At the same time, he attempted to take photographs of the vehicle license plate.
According to statements, the women disagreed with what he said and answered the man allegedly using derogatory language. One woman told police that the man grabbed her jacket and punched her, she then punched him back. In contrast, the man reported the woman knocked the camera away and punched him in the face.
Independent witnesses, who were not involved in the situation nor were related to those involved, also reported conflicting information. One witness observed the three women corner the man in front of the store and assault him. Another witnessreported one of the women was punched in the face by the man and the other two women came to her assistance.
The male stated once everyone was separated he was walking back into the store when one of the females came up from behind him and punched him in the back of the head. The male was able to identify that female to police. One of the independent witness’s confirmed this happened.
At the time of the incident, officers listened to each person’s recollection of events. After reviewing those statements and the supporting evidence the investigation revealed that probable cause existed to charge everyone involved. Officers charged the man with 3rd degree assault, a misdemeanor. The other two women were charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
The third woman was charged with 3rd degree assault of an at-risk-adult, a felony. She hit the man, causing injury, after the initial disturbance was over. Colorado statute defines an at-risk adult as a person who is 70 years-old or older.
On January 24th, 2023 this case was presented to the Adams County District Attorney’s Office for filing. After discussion with the DA’s office and their review of police reports, witness statements and evidence, the charge of 3rd degree assault of an at-risk adult, a felony will be dismissed. A misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct will be filed in its place against the woman who was initially charged with the felony.
None of the officers witnessed the disturbance at the store. During the investigation, witnesses, both involved and not involved, gave conflicting accounts of what happened and who was the primary aggressor. Officers reviewed those statements and the evidence when making the decision to charge all involved with a crime. The court will be responsible for determining guilt or innocence of those charged.
It should be noted all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Westminster Police Department is committed to providing quality police service to everyone. With respect to this incident, by policy, we have initiated an internal affairs investigation. This will include an examination of our policies, procedures and training. All information available will be reviewed by the complaint review team that consists of citizens and police command staff.