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Victim ID’d in Harvey Gap Reservoir drowning

The body recovered from a drowning at Harvey Gap Reservoir has been identified.

The Garfield County Coroner identified Silt resident Justin Yenter, 37, as the victim. According to investigators, Yenter was on a boat in the reservoir when a gust of wind knocked him overboard into the water.

His death was consistent with a drowning, according to the coroner’s office. It is being investigated as an accident.

Garfield County Search and Rescue was called to Harvey Gap on Thursday at around 7 p.m., but his body wasn’t recovered until around 12:45 a.m. He was located at a depth of 35 feet and about 800 feet from shore by Colorado State Parks and Wildlife and the Summit Dive Team members, states the press release.

Care Flight was also used in the search, flying over the lake during daylight hours to try and locate Yenter in the water or along the shore.

Body recovered from Harvey Gap Reservoir near Silt

Garfield County Search and Rescue were called out to Harvey Gap Reservoir near Silt at around 7:00 p.m. on Thursday after receiving reports of a possible drowning. At around 12:25 a.m. the body of a middle-aged man was recovered from the reservoir, states the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office press release.

At that time the Garfield County Coroner took over the investigation. Additional information on individual and the cause of death will be released from the coroner’s office once a positive identification has been made an next of kin has been notified.

Care Flight were among the first to respond to the scene, flying over the lake during daylight hours to try and locate the missing person in the water or along the shore. The Summit County Dive also responded and were in route by 10:00 p.m., continuing well into the evening hours, the press release states.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office thanked Garfield County Search and Rescue,  Care Flight, Colorado River Fire Rescue, the Forest Service, Silt Police Department, Garfield County Coroner and the Summit County Dive Team along with all others involved in this rescue/recovery effort. 

CPW euthanizes mother doe, spares fawns after deer attack in Craig

A Craig woman was hospitalized after suffering serious injuries in a deer attack at Sunset Meadows senior living facility.

According to a news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, CPW officers responded to the senior living facility Wednesday afternoon to find a doe with two young fawns had attacked and injured an 85-year-old woman as she was walking her dog.

“Officers believe the woman and her dog surprised the animal, leading to an unusually aggressive response by the doe,” CPW’s release said.

Craig Police Department Capt. Bill Leonard said his agency responded quickly and secured the scene for wildlife authorities.

“We responded to the call initially and kind of maintained the scene until they arrived,” Leonard said.

The woman had serious injuries and she was quickly taken to Memorial Regional Health.

“She had some pretty serious injuries on scene,” Leonard said. “I know they were definitely concerned in getting her loaded and transported.”

Additional details on the woman’s condition at MRH were unavailable.

The release said CPW would be euthanizing the mother doe, but not her fawns, which will be taken to a local rehabilitation facility.

“The doe’s carcass will be taken to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab for a full necropsy,” the release stated.

Following the incident, Mike Porras, CPW’s Northwest region public information officer, said putting down an animal in this context isn’t easy for CPW officers.

“It’s the hardest part of their jobs, but they will fulfill duty to protect the public,” Porras said.

The doe’s rare aggressive behavior, the risk that behavior poses to the public, and the need to rule out the possibility of disease were the driving factors behind the decision to put the doe down.

“Sometimes it allows us to conclude why an animal behaved the way it did,” Porras said of the doe’s coming autopsy.

Relocating animals to an isolated area away from humans isn’t always an option, according to Porras.

“In a state with a growing human population, those areas are getting harder and harder to find,” Porras said.

Even if CPW had relocated the animal, Porras said the agency wasn’t willing to risk the animal repeating its actions in the future.

“If we move this animal to an area and it has another encounter with a person and it seriously injures or kills a person, our agency is responsible,” he said.

Porras had a warning for frontier communities like Craig and Moffat County, that predators are usually waiting nearby when deer are present.

“The fact there are deer in Craig should certainly give people pause,” Porras said. “…Lions eat deer. If there are deer in the area, lions probably aren’t too far behind.”

He said it’s important for Craig residents to do their part to keep wildlife wild — don’t feed town deer and don’t approach them, either.

“Don’t feed deer and don’t feed any wildlife,” Porras said. “Don’t approach, don’t feed, don’t harass — whether for a selfie, or they think they can pet it, or they think they’re one with the animal. It’s dangerous.”

Porras pointed out Craig isn’t the only one experiencing dangerous human-wildlife interactions on a regular basis.

“It’s not just Craig,” Porras said. “There are a lot of communities in the same boat for the same reasons.”

Craig police break up fight: On the Record — June 12

Craig Police Department

Wednesday, June 12

12:19 a.m. Near the intersection of Mack Lane and Finley Lane, police in Craig responded to a drunk driver call. Craig police said they located the vehicle, but were unable to stop the vehicle for any traffic infraction.

2:16 p.m. Police in Craig responded to a domestic violence call. Craig police said a caller reported a domestic disturbance, but when police arrived they found a verbal disturbance. Craig police said they later detained and released a male suspect and issued him a trespass notice.

2:31 p.m. At Sherwood Forest, police Craig responded to a suspicious person/vehicle/article call. Craig police said a caller reported two juveniles in a fight. Craig police said they made contact with the juveniles and later issued verbal warnings for fighting after making contact with the juveniles’ parents.

4:11 p.m. On the 500 block of School Street, police in Craig responded to an agency assist call. Craig police said they assisted EMS personnel in on a medical call.

4:47 p.m. On the 600 block of Ledford Street, police in Craig responded to an agency assist call. Craig police said they contacted Colorado Parks and Wildlife in reference to a deer attack that occurred in the city limits.

4:59 p.m. At Northwest Storage, police in Craig responded to a theft call. Craig police said a caller reported a possible theft of items from a storage shed and police continue to investigate.  

5:47 p.m. On the 700 block of East Victory Way, police in Craig responded to a property damage crash call. Craig police said they responded to a three-vehicle accident with no injuries and minor damage and two citations were issued to two separate drivers.

9:21 p.m. On the 1200 block of Legion Street, police in Craig responded to a hit and run crash call. Craig police said a caller reported a UTV driving carelessly that had possibly damaged property in the area and police continue to investigate.

10:04 p.m. Near the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 westbound and milepost 92, police in Craig responded to a road rage call. Craig police said they made contact with the suspect vehicle and determined the female driver was not intoxicated.

According to the Craig Police Department incident log, police in Craig responded to 44 calls for service on Wednesday.

Hayden man arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Hayden man was arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter.

The Routt County Justice Center filed a felony complaint Tuesday against the 50-year-old man. He faces one criminal charge of sexually assaulting a child while in a position of trust, a third-degree felony, according to court officials. He originally faced an additional charge of misdemeanor child abuse, but that charge has since been dropped.

The names of the accused and the girl, as well as her age, are not being released to protect the identity of the victim.

Hayden Police Department officers responded to a report of a disturbance at the man’s residence the night of June 5, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from the Justice Center.

When police arrived, the man was sitting on the front porch and appeared to be expecting the officers, telling them he is the one they were looking for.

In interviews with police, the girl described cleaning the family’s camper with her stepfather a short while prior to officers arriving. While in the camper, the girl said she was jumping on the bed, and her shorts had gotten twisted.

Her stepfather helped to fix the shorts, according to the affidavit, but in the process, he groped her buttocks and crotch. The girl told officers the touching made her feel nervous and uncomfortable. She said her stepfather also groped his own crotch in front of her.

Similar incidents have occurred in the past that also made the girl uncomfortable, according to the affidavit.

In interviews with police, the man admitted to touching the girl in the camper but said he was trying to fix her shorts.

According to the affidavit, all of the groping occurred over the girl’s clothes.

Because of the sensitive nature of the case, Hayden police and Routt County court officials declined to comment.

The man was being held on a $2,000 bond at the Routt County Detention Center. He posted bond on June 8, according to court officials.

Mule deer apprehended by CPW after injuring elderly woman in Craig

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating a wildlife attack in Craig, according to a news release from the agency.

CPW responded at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to a mule deer doe with two fawns that allegedly attacked and injured an 85-year-old woman as the woman walked her dog within city limits near Sunset Meadows.

According to the officers, the woman has been transported to Memorial Regional Health with “serious injuries.”

Officers believe the woman and her dog surprised the animal, leading to an unusually aggressive response by the doe.

Doe attacks are rare but wildlife officers say they can happen and they can be serious, especially when the animal is rearing her young.

At about 8 p.m., CPW officers located and captured the doe and her fawns at Schrader Avenue and Finley Lane.

“In accordance with agency policy and due to the doe’s extremely aggressive behavior, CPW will put the animal down to protect public safety. The fawns will be taken to a local rehabilitation facility,” the release read. “The doe’s carcass will be taken to CPW’s Wildlife Health Lab for a full necropsy.”

CPW warns residents about the dangers of approaching any wildlife, especially females with offspring.

Mike Porras, public information officer for CPW’s northwest region, said that while mule deer are often docile around humans, it’s never a guarantee, much less when fawns are involved.

“There can always be anomalies in their behavior,” he said.

Craig police respond to squatter living in home: On the Record — June 11

Craig Police Department

Tuesday, June 11

1:03 a.m. On the 600 block of Conner Drive, police in Craig responded to an agency assist call. Craig police said they assisted EMS personnel in a possible overdose case.

7:54 a.m. Near the intersection of East Seventh Street and Ashley Road, police in Craig responded to an animal complaint call. A caller reported two vicious dogs at large. Community service officers issued the owner a citation.

12:47 p.m. On the 200 block of East Eighth Street, police in Craig responded to a property found/recovered call. A resident found a bicycle and turned it over to police.

1:41 p.m. On the 800 block of West First Street, police in Craig responded to a warrant call. A 25-year-old Steamboat Springs man was arrested on warrant from an outside law enforcement agency.

3:33 p.m. On the 500 block of Breeze Street, police in Craig responded to an alarm call. Craig police said they responded to a panic alarm at the Department of Human Services that was determined to be a false alarm.

8:18 p.m. On the 600 block of Conner Drive, police in Craig responded to a trespass call. A caller reported someone living in a home that should not be living there and police continue to investigate.

According to the Craig Police Department incident log, police in Craig responded to 43 calls for service on Tuesday.

Lumber truck rolls on Highway 40

A semi-truck rollover has temporarily closed both lanes of Highway 40 at the west end of Byers Canyon, according to authorities.

The rollover, which occurred at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday between Parshall and Hot Sulphur Springs, caused the truck to lose its load of lumber and spill fuel on the roadway. The driver suffered only minor injuries and refused medical treatment, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

Clean-up of the scene is currently underway, but the sheriff’s office estimates the road will be closed for the next several hours.

Fuel from the truck did not reach the Colorado River, which runs through the canyon, according to the sheriff’s office.

Traffic at the scene will be alternated whenever possible. Drivers should not seek detour using County Road 20, the Parshall Divide road, as it has been closed.

The sheriff’s office said the road would likely fully open later Wednesday evening.

Matt Karzen officially named to replace Brett Barkey as 14th Judicial District Attorney

On Wednesday, Gov. Jared Polis announced his appointment of Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen to take over as the 14th Judicial District Attorney, effective July 1. The appointment arose from District Attorney Brett Barkey’s decision to resign prior to the end of his second term to “pursue volunteer and educational opportunities.”

The appointment, announced via news release from the DA’s office, means Karzen will serve out the remainder of the current district attorney term, through 2020, at which time the position will be on the ballot. District Attorney Designee Karzen is considering running in November 2020, as the incumbent, for the 2021-2024 term.

Among Karzen’s recent works was as the prosecutor in the Moffat County School District’s Justin Folley case. Folley was acquitted on a host of charges related to an inappropriate student-teacher relationship which led to the recent passage of Colorado’s sexting bill in Denver.

“I am humbled by the confidence shown by the governor, and I remain committed to this jurisdiction and the delivery of high quality, thoughtful, prosecution services,” Karzen said in the release. “As district attorney, I look forward to earning and maintaining the confidence of the citizens of Grand, Routt and Moffat Counties and all of our law enforcement partners across the district — it is an honor to serve.”

Karzen added that rural Colorado counties are facing challenges in the court system and those suffering from “profound mental illness or addiction.”

“It is important to me as the District Attorney, and as a citizen, to contribute to a thoughtful effort to identify effective alternatives to simply incarcerating the mentally ill or addicted, and to help the modern criminal justice system achieve a proper balance between public safety and human decency,” he said in the release.

Craig police follow up on theft, trespass investigations: On the Record — June 10

Craig Police Department

Monday, June 10

8:43 a.m. Near the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Ranney Street, police in Craig responded to a property damage crash call. Craig police said they responded to a two-vehicle accident with no injuries and no one was issued a citation.

12:13 p.m. At the Moffat County Courthouse parking lot, police in Craig responded to a follow-up investigation. Craig police said they issued a male party a citation on charges of theft.

2:30 p.m. On the 900 block of Sloan Circle, police in Craig responded to a code enforcement call. Craig police said community service officers responded to a possible code violation.

6:16 p.m. Near the intersection of Yampa Avenue and East Victory Way, police in Craig responded to a complaint call. Craig police said a caller reported a traffic complaint on a Nissan Pathfinder, but when police responded to the area, they were unable to locate a suspect.

9:47 p.m. At Craig City Park, police in Craig responded to a theft call. Craig police said they investigated a possible assault and theft from a Craig man at the park.

9:53 p.m. On the 900 block of West First Street, police in Craig responded to a suspicious person/vehicle/article call. Craig police said they investigated a civil incident between a landlord and their tenant.

10:01 p.m. Police in Craig responded to a disturbance call. Craig police said they investigated a verbal domestic disturbance and both parties were issued a verbal warning.

10:35 p.m. On the 900 block of West First Street, police in Craig responded to a follow-up investigation. Craig police said they investigated a previous incident involving a possible trespass notice.

According to the Craig Police Department incident log, police in Craig responded to 56 calls for service on Monday.