DENVER – The Denver district attorney says she has charged a 44-year-old Colorado law enforcement officer with two counts of felony menacing and is asking for victims and witnesses to step forward, and Colorado State Patrol said the officer charged was one of its troopers.
District Attorney Beth McCann’s office sent out a news release Thursday afternoon saying the officer had been charged with the two felony menacing counts in regard to him pointing a rifle out of his vehicle toward another driver at 10th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard on April 25.
The news release says a man driving a Subaru Crosstrek pointed a rifle at another person in a Subaru WRX near the intersection of 10th and Sheridan just before noon that day.
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers issued a bulletin on May 18 saying Denver police were looking for victims and witnesses of the alleged menacing who had not already spoken with police.
The news release from the district attorney’s office issued Thursday said a photo of the suspect vehicle’s license plate and witnesses led to the unidentified officer being arrested.
The DA’s Office said the officer, who was fired on Tuesday, was off duty at the time of the alleged menacing and was placed on leave once his agency was told about the allegations.
But McCann’s office said it would not be releasing details about the officer or the case. Carolyn Tyler, a spokesperson for the DA’s Office, said investigators “are trying to locate the victims so that they may make a positive identification before those details are in the public domain.”
“DA McCann believes in the public’s right to ultimately know the name of the officer and will disclose further information prior to his next scheduled court appearances in mid-June,” the news release said.
On Thursday afternoon, Colorado State Patrol said the law enforcement officer who was charged and fired was former Trooper Wesley Dakan. CSP said he was fired after an internal investigation.
"The Colorado State Patrol and it's [sic] members are here to ensure the safey of all persons and to live our core values of honor, duty and respect," CSP said in a news release. "We take these standards seriously, and recognize that the success of our mission depends upon maintaining the trust and the safety of the public we serve. We respect and defer to the criminal court process regarding the charges brought against a former Colorado State Trooper."
Court records show Dakan, 44, was granted a personal recognizance bond in the case and has already made several court appearances. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for June 16.
A tweet from CSP shows Dakan was recognized in February for pulling over 35 impaired drivers in 2020.
Congratulations to Trooper Wes Dakan! Tonight, Trooper Dakan was recognized for his efforts in 2020 at the Golden Elks Lodge. Trooper Dakan took 35 impaired drivers off the road in 2020! Great Job! #savinglives pic.twitter.com/7oSGRbAi61— CSP Golden (@csp_golden) February 21, 2021
The district attorney’s office said any victims or witnesses who have not already talked with police or prosecutorial investigators should call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. They can also contact Investigator Zac Pauga by email or at 720-913-9055, or DPD Detective Mylous Yearling at 720-913-0586 or by email.