BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – An Aurora Police Department officer was arrested earlier this week on three felony and two misdemeanor charges relating to official misconduct and attempting to influence a public servant.
Officer Matthew Ewert, 34, was arrested by the Erie Police Department and faces charges in Boulder County. He was booked into jail just after noon on Tuesday.
He faces two felony counts of attempting to influence a public servant, one felony count of destroying physical evidence, and two counts of official misconduct. The latter two are misdemeanors.
Ewert declined Denver7's request for comment.
The Aurora Police Department says it is aware of Ewert’s arrest and that he has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of his criminal case. Ewert has been with the department since 2010, Aurora police tell Denver7.
The department said that an internal investigation would also be conducted after his case is completed. It offered no further comment, citing the pending criminal case. Ewert has since posted a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and is out of jail.
Ewert’s arrest affidavit says that one of his juvenile nephews was caught Snapchatting pictures of a gun with two other friends, and that the nephew allegedly pulled a gun out at a park amid an altercation.
Through investigation, Erie police discovered that the weapon belonged to the boy’s grandfather, who the police report says is Ewert’s father-in-law.
When police asked the man for the gun in question, he explained that Ewert had already come over to his house and taken the gun.
The next day, police again visited the man’s house to try and retrieve the gun, but he hinted that Ewert had advised him to ask police to get a warrant.
The officer talking with the man then went back to the Erie police station, where one of the records custodians told the officer that Ewert had requested and been given the police report for the juveniles days earlier. The officer told the records custodian not to give Ewert any more records as he was a family member of one of the juvenile suspects.
The officer got a warrant from a judge to retrieve the gun from the man’s garage, but when he got there, the man walked the officer to Ewert’s nearby home and said that’s where he could find the gun.
Ewert obliged in getting the gun out of a safe of his, but also told the officer that he’d dumped the bullets from the weapon’s magazine into a bin full of other identical bullets. Officers took the gun and the full bin of bullets.
But officers discovered two days later that a different records custodian had also been contacted by Ewert via Ewert’s official Aurora Police Department email.
He again requested the “completed reports” for the case in which he’d already received the initial report. That same records custodian had also received a call from Ewert requesting the record on the same day the other technician provided Ewert with the initial police report.
Ewert’s moving the weapon tied to the case and efforts to get information on the case involving his nephew were enough for police to charge him.
His arrest warrant mandated that Ewert not be allowed access to weapons and that he not contact the family of any of the three juveniles involved in the original alleged crime.
In a 2012 newspaper article from Ewert's home town of Oak Park, Illinois, Ewert said he moved to Colorado for "skiing and school" and called the Aurora theater shooting "the worst thing" he'd ever experienced.
This story will be updated as more details of Ewert’s arrest become available.