The Colorado wildfires that raged through suburban communities near Denver on Thursday may have been the most destructive in the state’s history; destroying around 1,000 homes and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. Reports say an evacuee accused of threatening a firefighter and found with a loaded AR-15 and 2,000 rounds of ammunition was turned over to Boulder County Jail.
Stephen Tyger Francis Roch, 24, was arrested on Friday for threatening, and obstructing a peace officer, which, under the Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18. Criminal Code § 18-3-206 is a felony. He was indicted for menacing, and impeding government operations, evading, and third-degree criminal trespassing.
An arrest document states that around 9:45 a.m., a fireman working the Marshall fire encountered Roch in the area of St. Andrews Lane and Dillon Road. Friday. Roch was advised by the firefighter that the area was still under mandatory evacuation orders and that he needed to evacuate.
Roch allegedly told the fireman that he needed to “take him out” and that he possessed an AR-15 firearm. When police came on the site after the firefighter reported the threat, Roch got into a vehicle and fled the scene, driving past the burning ruins of a house at one point.
Officers eventually got Roch to stop his vehicle, and was arrested. The Police discovered a loaded AR-15 rifle with the safety removed as well as a loaded 9 mm pistol inside the car. There was also extra ammo for both guns, including 2,000 rounds for the rifle.
Roch refused to communicate with authorities, according to the affidavit. Firefighters did remark that they felt Roch had lost his house in the fire and was distraught.
The alleged suspect is currently being detained at the Boulder County Jail for a bail hearing.
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