Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Deputies involved in officer-involved shooting identified

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is identifying the deputies involved in the officer-involved shooting that occurred in the evening of March 23rd, 2019.

The three deputies who discharged a firearm during this incident are Sgt. Justin Bynum, Deputy Caleb Harper and Deputy Brandon Worley. Two deputies used their duty weapon and one deputy used a less-lethal weapon.

Sgt. Bynum is a 12-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. He has served as a member of the Street Crimes Unit, Western Colorado Drug Task Force, SWAT team, Critical Incident Response Team, Academy Instructor, and is currently a patrol Sergeant. Deputy Harper is an 8-year veteran of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, who has worked as a detentions and patrol deputy. He has been a member of the Shakedown Team, is a Defensive Tactics instructor and is a recipient of the Life Saving Award. Deputy Worley joined the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in April of 2018.

As per standard protocol for these type of incidents, Sgt. Bynum, Deputy Harper and Deputy Worley will remain on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation that takes place independently of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) investigation.

The officer-involved shooting remains under investigation by the Critical Incident Response Team. For the latest information about the CIRT investigation click here.

Deputy Brandon Worley
Sgt. Justin Bynum
Deputy Caleb Harper

Alert: Missing person

Franklin “Frank” Taylor
MCSO Photo 9-28-18
Franklin “Frank” Taylor
MCSO Photo 9-21-2018
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is asking for information about the whereabouts of a missing person.  53-year-old Franklin “Frank” Taylor, was reported missing today by friends under suspicious circumstances.

He was last seen Friday, March 22nd, 2019 at 10:00 p.m. at his residence on the 2800 block of C ½ Road.

Taylor is described as a white male, 6’5, 220 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He is known to have facial hair. Please see the attached two photos. 

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating.

Investigators are requesting anyone with information about Taylor’s location or disappearance to contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707 or 911.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

One man arrested and a stolen car recovered this morning

Tyler Crouch, 25
MCSO Photo 1-10-19
MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 5:30 this morning Mesa County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a stolen car on the 3000 block of Lancaster Gate Street. A 2008 white Ford F150 was taken from the residence by an unknown person that morning.

Grand Junction Police officers spotted the stolen vehicle at 28 Road and Orchard Ave a short time later and conducted a traffic stop.

Tyler Crouch, 25, of Grand Junction was arrested. He faces the following charges:
  • 2nd Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft > $1,000 but < $20,000 (Class 6 Felony)
  • Possession of a Schedule I/II substance (Class 4 Drug Felony)
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (DPO)
  • 2 counts of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction Warrant
  • Driving while Revoked
Crouch is currently being held in the Mesa County Detention Facility. For updated bond amounts visit our website.

Grand Junction woman arrested after a chase

Paige Willis, 20
MCSO  Photo 1-29-19
MESA COUNTY, Colo – At approximately 9:30 Monday night deputies responded to a residence in the Candlewood Trailer Park for a report of a harassment in progress. The reporting party advised a woman was following them in what was determined to be a stolen vehicle.

The woman and driver of the vehicle was identified as 20-year-old Paige Willis. Willis had active warrants out for her arrest and had eluded Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies and Colorado State Patrol troopers as recently as Sunday evening. Willis also is involved in an active felony stalking case in which the victim resided at the same address as where deputies responded to Monday night.

Deputies attempted a traffic stop on the stolen grey sedan at the north entrance of Candlewood Trailer Park off D ¼ Road. The vehicle did not stop, and continued traveling northbound onto 32 Road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was observed driving through stop signs, sliding into the center median, and driving head-on into opposing traffic, forcing other vehicles to swerve to get out of the way. Deputies terminated the pursuit.

I70B and 32 Road
At approximately 10:15 p.m., deputies located the stolen car driving in the Candlewood Trailer Park. Deputies performed a Tactical Vehicle Intervention to stop the vehicle, but Willis continued driving, turning northbound on 32 Road and accelerating to a high rate of speed with a blatant disregard for public safety. Willis then swerved over into on-coming traffic driving directly at an approaching patrol car. With evasive action, the deputy was able to avoid the collision. Willis then drove towards a deputy on foot preparing to deploy Stop Sticks, forcing the deputy to run out of the way.

At the intersection of 32 Road and I-70B, deputies used a blocking technique to pin the vehicle to end the ongoing threat to public safety. Willis continued to ram the vehicle she was driving into patrol cars and at deputies. Deputies deployed less lethal munitions and a Taser. Willis was taken into custody. Willis was transported to the hospital to be medically cleared before being transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility.

Willis facing the following charges:
  • 8 counts of Assault in the 1st Degree on a Peace Office Threaten with Deadly Weapon (Class 3 Felony)
  • 2 counts of Vehicular Eluding (Class 5 Felony)
  • 2 counts Reckless Driving
  • 2 counts Careless Driving
  • 1st Degree Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft Uses Vehicle in Commission of a Crime (Class 4 Felony)
  • Speeding over 40 MPH or More Over
  • Resisting Arrest (Class 2 Misdemeanor)
  • Driving Under Revocation
  • Failed to Obey a Traffic Control Signal
  • Failure to Appear Warrant (Muni)
Eastbound I-70B was closed for about two hours as a result of the incident. It was opened just after midnight. No injuries to civilians or deputies were reported.

This case is still under investigation. Additional charges related to this incident are still under review.

If anyone has video of the incident or information regarding this crime please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707. You can also email us at PIO.Sheriff@mesacounty.us.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Wyoming man arrested for sex crimes on a child

Timothy Pearce, 56
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office Photo
MESA COUNTY, Colo – Timothy Pearce, 56, of Reliance, Wyoming was arrested Thursday by the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office in Rock Springs, WY after a warrant for his arrest was obtained by Mesa County Sheriff’s investigators.

Pearce is facing the following charges:
  • 3 counts of Sexual Assault on a Child (Class 4 Felony)
  • 2 counts of Sexual Assault on a Child, Pattern of Abuse (Class 3 Felony)
  • 5 counts of Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust (Class 3 Felony)
  • 5 counts of Aggravated Incest (Class 3 Felony)
The charges stem from incidents with multiple victims that allegedly occurred in Mesa County from February of 1999 to June of 2017.

Pearce is currently being held in the Sweetwater County Detention Center on a No Bond hold.

This case is still under investigation.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Grand Junction man arrested for sexual assault on a child

Jordan Miles, 35
MCSO Photo
MESA COUNTY, Colo - Jordan Miles, 35, of Grand Junction was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility Thursday evening after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Miles is facing the following charges:
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust (Class 4 Felony) 
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Class 4 Felony) 
  • Distribution of Marijuana to a Minor (Class 3 Drug Felony) 

These charges stem from an alleged incident in December of 2018.

This case is still under investigation.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Wanted subject arrested after brief standoff

MESA COUNTY, Colo - At approximately 9:30 am deputies arrived at a residence on the 600 block of Alan Way to arrest a wanted subject.

Anthony Pike, 47, has a No Bond warrant out of Mesa County for Failure to Comply.

Pike refused to come out of the residence, barricaded himself alone inside and threatened suicide by cop. Mesa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team responded to the address.

Four neighboring homes were evacuated and about 20 homes in the surrounding area were sent an Emergency Notification to shelter-in-place as a precaution.

Pike refused to comply with deputies’ orders to drop his knife and surrender. Deputies deployed less lethal munitions and arrested Pike without further incident at about noon.

Pike was checked out by paramedics on scene then transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility. Charges stemming from today’s incident are currently being reviewed.

The shelter-in-place has been lifted and people have been allowed to return to their homes. Emergency Notifications are automatically sent to landlines. You can sign up your cell phone online anytime here. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

One hurt in overnight shooting

MESA COUNTY, Colo – At about 11:45 Sunday night, Mesa County Sheriff deputies responded to a report of a shooting outside of a residence on the 2900 block of Orchard Ave.

When deputies arrived they found a 37-year-old male with a gunshot wound to his leg. He was transported to the hospital with what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances around the shooting. At this time, investigators believe this was an isolated incident.

Investigators are seeking information about the suspect(s) involved in this crime. If you have information please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707. You can also submit a tip anonymously to Mesa County Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-STOP (7867).

Monday, March 4, 2019

Message from Sheriff Matt Lewis

Sheriff Matt Lewis
Mesa County
“As I continue to receive questions regarding my stance on Colorado House Bill 19-1177, commonly known as the “Red Flag Bill”, I want to let the citizens of Mesa County know my thoughts on the bill, and the efforts I am taking to prevent this bill from becoming law.

Before I address the contents of the bill itself, I want you to know that Sheriffs across Colorado are engaged and fighting on both sides of this legislation. In preparation for the committee hearing on this bill, I met with several Sheriffs and discussed concerns that should be used for testimony against this bill. Ultimately, due to proximity and scheduling, Sheriff Reams from Weld County testified on behalf of his county, Mesa County, Larimer County, and El Paso County. I am grateful he was able to convey our thoughts to the committee. In spite of our opposition, the committee voted in favor of the bill.

Since that time, I have been actively engaged in trying to stop this piece of legislation from becoming law. Most recently, spending time in Denver speaking with both sides about changing the mental health hold statutes rather than enacting a piece of legislation that focuses on removal of firearms.

I could write pages on all the reasons this bill does not make sense and why it will not make Colorado safer. Ultimately, this bill is a poorly disguised attempt to target the possession of firearms by Colorado residents. It is being said this is a mental health bill, but these extreme risk protection orders do not require a person to seek help, counseling, or any other form of mental health assistance. This simply requires the surrender of firearms and places an incredible burden on your law enforcement professionals.

If a person is a threat to themselves or others and their firearms are removed, this does not mean they are no longer a threat and certainly does not address the underlying issues that led to the person being dangerous. In our current mental health hold statutes, law enforcement is able to remove the person in crisis and take them to a mental health or hospital facility. This addresses the needs of the person rather than targeting firearms while completely ignoring other items that a person may utilize as a danger to themselves or others.

This bill is fundamentally flawed and flies in the face of individual liberty. It requires law enforcement to seize or a citizen to surrender their personal property BEFORE there is a finding greater than the low legal standard of a preponderance of evidence. It also requires a higher legal standard of clear and convincing evidence in order to restore the right to possess firearms. This process is ripe for abuse and does not set the legal bar high enough for government intrusion, seizure of a person's personal property, and the infringement of a person’s 2nd Amendment Right.

I believe there is a high potential that this may lead to more armed confrontations between citizens and law enforcement. Whatever problems were present that may have led to the issuance of the extreme risk protection order, law enforcement would now be directed by the court to serve the extreme risk protection order and request the individual surrender their firearms. If a citizen refuses they may be subject to criminal charges. This process has the potential to criminalize a mental health issue. This will compound the problem rather than provide assistance to a person in crisis.

This bill does not make law enforcement professionals or our Colorado citizens safer and I will continue to work to find an alternate solution to assist those in crisis without targeting firearms. Please join with me in contacting your Colorado Senators asking them to vote against this bill. This bill has not become law and there is still time to work on preventing it from passing.”

-Sheriff Matt Lewis     

Missing dirt biker found deceased

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Sunday morning, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies and search and rescue teams located a missing dirt biker in the 29 Road desert north of I-70.

The 31-year-old male was reported overdue late Saturday night. Sunday morning, with the assistance of Centurylink’s helicopter, searchers located his body in a remote area. Due to the amount of mud in the area caused by recent rains, first responders had to be flown into the area by helicopter.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death.

The case remains under investigation.