Men charged in citizens' arrest

Sheriff: Civilians had no authority to revoke bond


The two civilians, James Essex, 53, and Aaron Weisacosky, 25, arrested Mitchell Shepherd, 44, in an attempt to revoke the man's bond, said Sheriff Buddy Grinstead.

"When officers arrived, Mr. Shepherd was in a pair of handcuffs, to which no one had a key that would fit," Grinstead said.

Essex had paid a portion of Shepherd's bond in a Moffat County court case, Grinstead said. The transaction was made through a licensed bond agent. On Friday, Essex decided to revoke the bond, which he did not have the authority to do, Grinstead said.

"The individual felt he could revoke Mr. Shepherd's bond and return him to the jail," Grinstead said.

Deputies arrested Essex and Weisacosky for allegedly assaulting Shepherd by hitting him with a gun. Both were charged with first-degree assault and booked into the Moffat County Jail.

Shepherd was transported to the hospital, where he was treated for a broken arm and an injury to his forehead. Deputies then arrested Shepherd on an outstanding warrant for driving while ability impaired in Adams County.

Deputies were dispatched to the scene after Essex called the sheriff's office to report that he needed assistance because Shepherd was not cooperating with the arrest.

Investigators are still trying to sort out whether Shepherd was assaulted before or after he was placed in handcuffs. Shepherd has made all the court appearances in the case in which Essex paid a portion of the bond, Grinstead said.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or

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