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5 teens accused of knocking Arvada officer unconscious with 'chemical bomb' attack

Authorities investigate whether teens lured officer into ambush
Posted at 3:50 PM, Apr 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 01:40:43-04

ARVADA, Colo. — The Arvada Police Department released the names of the suspects allegedly involved in a chemical attack that injured two people, including an officer who was knocked unconscious from the "chemical bomb" and needed to be transported to the hospital.

The five suspects — four adults and a juvenile — were taken into custody on Sunday in connection with the attack that occurred in the area of West 68th Avenue and Beech Street around 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Maxwell McCann, 18; Braiden Ulmer, 19; Isaac Koch, 19; Gavin Dawson, 19; and an unnamed juvenile are each facing charges of first-degree assault and possession/use of explosives or incendiary devices. Police said the suspects were placed in local detention facilities after their arrests.

The unsuspecting male officer and a civilian were blasted with the chemical explosion while removing debris from the roadway near Ralston Valley Park in Arvada. The officer was dispatched to the scene of the attack on a report made by the civilian concerning traffic signs placed in the middle of the road. The civilian stayed on scene to assist the officer, police said.

While this was going on, department spokesperson Detective David Snelling told Denver7 that the suspects threw a plastic container containing the chemical toward the two victims, where it landed close to the officer and exploded in a “big cloud of gas.”

Snelling said the officer “immediately felt the effects and went down,” losing consciousness from inhaling the fumes. Paramedics transported the officer, who police say has been on the force for four years, to the hospital where he was treated and released. Police said the officer is recovering at home though it's unclear if he will have any long-term effects. The civilian was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Authorities are investigating whether the suspects had intentionally knocked the sign into the road in order to lure police into an ambush.

The exact makeup of the chemical reaction wasn’t immediately known. However, police said they were able to identify the chemical with the help of other agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, though they are not releasing the components to avoid repeated incidents.

Police said they are turning the case over to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.