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A now-former Colorado state trooper faces felony menacing charges for allegedly pointing a rifle at a driver while off-duty in southwest Denver last month.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office took the unusual step Thursday of announcing it had filed felony criminal charges against a “Colorado law enforcement officer” who prosecutors then declined to publicly identify.
Hours later, the Colorado State Patrol announced in a news release that the officer was Wesley Dakan, 44. The state patrol said it fired Dakan on Tuesday after an internal investigation.
“We respect and defer to the criminal court process regarding the charges brought against a former Colorado State Patrol trooper,” the agency said.
Prosecutors said the case stems from an April 25 incident when a man in a Subaru Crosstrek pointed a rifle at another person in a Subaru WRX at 10th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard in Denver. Investigators identified the man through the license plate on his car and witness interviews.
He was not wearing a law enforcement uniform or driving a patrol car at the time of the incident, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
The DA’s office announced Thursday via a news release that the unnamed officer had been arrested and charged with two counts of felony menacing and asked the people whom the officer allegedly threatened to come forward to investigators. The office said “details about the man are being temporarily withheld.”
Prosecutors planned to publicly identify the officer before his next court date in mid-June, district attorney spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said. They did not identify him Thursday because they wanted to give the victims the chance to identify the suspect without having previously seen his name or picture in the news media, Tyler said.
“We do not know who the victims are who this officer allegedly menaced, we’re trying to identify them so they can identify the former officer in this case,” she said.
The case will continue even if the victims don’t come forward, she said.
Basic information about arrests and criminal charges are public records in Colorado and must be released upon the filing of a request, said Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
The Denver Post filed a records request Thursday afternoon for basic arrest information from the case with the Denver Police Department but did not immediately receive a response.
Investigators ask that anyone with information about the case notify Metro Denver Crime Stoppers by calling 720-913-7867 or contacting:
- Denver DA Investigator Zac Pauga at 720-913-9055 or Zac.Pauga@denverda.org
- Denver police Detective Mylous Yearling at 720-913-0586 or Mylous.Yearling@denvergov.org