Denver Police: 16th Street Mall attacker punched mom, assaulted at least 2 others

DENVER – Police in Denver say a man accused of going on a violent rampage on the 16th Street Mall randomly attacked at least three people, including punching a woman who was with her 5-year-old daughter.

Nicholas Lucero, 26, was arrested shortly after the Tuesday evening incident near 20th and Welton Streets. Police say several witnesses who called 911 followed the suspect to help police.

According to a police report released Wednesday, Lucero was walking on the sidewalk near East Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard around 5 p.m. when he approached his first victim and yelled, “F—k you!”

The police report says the victim, confused at Lucero’s alleged remark, began laughing, which police say provoked the suspect to punch the man in the face, causing a bloody nose.

Lucero then walked to 16th Street and Tremont Place and approached a woman with her 5-year-old daughter, the report continues. Police say he told the woman she looked “fine,” which frightened the woman. As she tried to back away from the suspect, Lucero allegedly punched the woman in the cheekbone and under her eye. The child was not injured.

After the Tremont attack, the suspect continued down the packed pedestrian mall to Glenarm Place where he allegedly attacked his third victim. Police say Lucero grabbed and pushed the female victim and then threw a can of beer at the woman.

None of the injuries appeared to be very serious. They reportedly did not need to be transported to the hospital.

Witnesses told police they saw Lucero assaulting additional victims as he left the mall, but they have yet to come forward.

Lucero is being held at the Downtown Detention Center on charges of assault, throwing stones or missiles, disturbing the peace, endangering a minor, destruction of private property. His bond is set at $500.

Denver7 found that Lucero was just sentenced in Denver court last week to two years of probation after pleading guilty to assault causing injury. But a more serious felony charge of bias-motivated crime causing injury was dismissed by prosecutors. His sentence included 18 months in jail, but a judge suspended imposition of the jail time, court records show.

If Lucero is convicted of the new crimes while on probation, that jail time may be imposed.

He has an eight-page arrest history in Colorado, including several arrests for assault, domestic violence, indecent exposure, drug possession and burglary, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Tuesday’s incident is one of many notable assaults in the popular downtown shopping center. The most notable attack gained nationwide attention when a homeless man began attacking shoppers with a PVC pipe.

Private security officers were eventually brought in to bolster police presence in the area in an effort to curb the increase in crime. 

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