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Warrant issued, but no arrest: How a violent road rage incident slipped through the cracks

Warrant issued 11-months ago, still no arrest
Posted: 6:45 PM, Apr 10, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-10 23:27:16-04
Patrick Roskelley.jpg

THORNTON, Colo. — Contact Denver7 is getting results. Last week, we told you about a Thornton man who says police haven't arrested the suspect involved in a violent road rage incident more than a year ago.

But now, the case is getting new attention and the victim, Patrick Roskelley, hasn’t felt this hopeful in a long time.

“I really do think there is promise given the fact that there are now police on the streets looking for the guy,” Roskelley said.

It’s certainly been a rocky road to justice.

“Definitely frustrated and wish there was a higher level of accountability,” Roskelley said.

Warrant issued, but no arrest: How a violent road rage incident slipped through the cracks

We first introduced you to Roskelley last week as he described how a road rage suspect followed him all the way home and violently assaulted him.

“He kicks the door in, it flies open, hits the refrigerator,” Roskelley said. “The gentleman got upset after a road rage incident, followed me home and kicked in my door, beating me up in my kitchen, right here.”

The case took months to investigate, but then a break in the case came thanks to DNA evidence left at the scene.

The attacker was identified as Aaron James Dunn, 30, and the Adams County district attorney filed charges of second-degree burglary and assault in the third degree.

An arrest warrant was issued back in May 2021, but 11 months later, there’s still been no arrest.

“It was just sitting on the DA’s desk as far as I know,” Roskelley said.

And still no movement in the case, until our reporting last week.

“I cannot thank you and your news team enough for featuring me on-air and online,” Roskelley said.

What Denver7 now knows through our reporting is that most departments, like Thornton Police, work with the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force on fugitive apprehension.

In this case, Roskelley says the Adams County district attorney likely failed to forward the case to the task force.

On Friday, Roskelley says a Thornton police officer called him to apologize for the case slipping through the cracks, and we now know that multiple metro-area agencies are actively searching for the suspect.

“Basically, they just apologized for the systemic failure,” Roskelley told Denver7.

The case now has new traction, and Roskelley is hoping it helps other victims.

“If you have an active case and you’re feeling like you’re not well-represented, you know - try and reach out to people because there’s more than just the victim’s advocates and the detective working your case,” he said. “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, because before – it felt like nobody would listen.”

We want to go a little deeper on why it's been difficult for police to investigate some of the crimes reported to them.

Back in February, Denver7 Investigates learned that Aurora was pulling its officers off the state agency that investigates car theft rings — and it’s definitely not because car thefts are down.

The Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force, or CMATT, tells us car thefts here are up 113% in the last two years; and Colorado leads the nation in number of cars stolen.

The former Aurora police chief said the decision to reduce officers from the car-theft task force was made to prioritize patrol-related duties.

When we asked the head of C-MATT why Colorado ranks No. 1 for car thefts, he blamed the lack of consequences for thieves who are caught.