WELD COUNTY, Colo. — The Weld County District Attorney’s Office on Monday filed charges against two Colorado officers who responded to a suspected road rage incident in September but ended the night with a train striking a police cruiser with their suspect inside.
According to KUSA, Officer Pablo Vazquez parked his Platteville Police Department cruiser on train tracks near U.S. 85 and County Road 36 when he pulled over Yareni Rios Gonzalez during the Sept. 16 road rage investigation.
Meanwhile, Officer Jordan Steinke, with the Fort Lupton Police Department, placed the suspect, Rios Gonzalez, in Vazquez’s car, which was struck a short while later by a Union Pacific freight train.
In a statement, the district attorney’s office provided basic court documents listing the charges but said it would not provide further details, citing “pending litigation.” The documents did not include a narrative about what the officers allegedly did leading up to the train crash which was captured on police body camera footage.
According to the documents, Vasquez is charged with the following:
- Five counts of misdemeanor reckless endangerment against five victims: Rios Gonzalez, Steinke and three other unspecified people.
- One count of obstructing a highway or other passageway.
- One count of careless driving.
- One count of parking where prohibited.
Steinke is charged with:
- One count of criminal attempt to commit manslaughter.
- One count of second-degree assault.
- One count of reckless endangerment.
Meanwhile, Rios Gonzalez, 20, has been accused of pointing a gun at another driver in a road rage incident, KUSA reported.
According to the TV station, Rios Gonzalez suffered nine broken ribs, a fractured sternum and a broken arm and leg in the crash.
Paul Wilkinson, who is representing Rios Gonzalez in her separate civil case against police, told KUSA that the man who claimed Rios Gonzalez pointed a gun at him was the actual aggressor and that she feared for her life.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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