From shooting to window peeping: Crimes of winter break

Matthew Bailey

As students return to their classes this spring semester, they may not be aware of some of the crimes and incidents that occurred during their month-long winter break. 

Here are some of the recent crime incidents that occurred in Larimer County and the Fort Collins area. 

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Vandalism spree

Fort Collins Police Services received reports of broken windshields and vehicle damage from BBs in different locations throughout the City Dec. 31, according to a Jan. 3 press release published by the City of Fort Collins.

Along with these damages, racial slurs were graffitied onto several residences and churches. 

A suspect vehicle was identified through an investigation that involved one resident’s home surveillance system registered with the FCPS Patio Patrol program and assistance from patrol officers. 

A patrol supervisor located a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle, and after the three occupants of the vehicle were contacted, it was determined they were all involved in the Dec. 31 criminal mischief incidents. 

The suspects included one 18-year-old male whose name will be released once charges are filed and two juvenile males whose names will not be released due to statutory privacy requirements. 

As of the Jan. 3 press release, the investigation was ongoing, and charges would be filed with the District Attorney’s Office upon completion. 

Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said he was proud of the investigative work that quickly apprehended the individuals involved in the crimes. 

“Damaging and defacing property with denigrating language has a very real impact on our community members,” Swoboda said in the release. “It’s not a harmless prank, and we will not tolerate this type of behavior.” 

Photo of Brendan Morse courtesy of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

Unlawful sexual behavior

Brendan Morse was arrested Jan. 5 as a result of an investigation conducted after a female reported a sexual assault to Fort Collins Police Jan. 4, according to a Jan. 9 press release published by the City of Fort Collins. 

Morse was charged on one count of sexual assault, a class three felony; domestic violence; and invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, or window peeping, a class one misdemeanor. 

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In the case of the latter charge, it is believed there are additional victims based on evidence collected. Detectives believe these additional cases occurred in Fort Collins over the past year, particularly in the area west of Shields Street between Mulberry Street and Drake Road. 

Berthoud single-vehicle crash

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office received a report at approximately 10:08 p.m. Jan. 10 of a single-vehicle crash near the intersection of Colorado Highway 56 and Gateway Park Boulevard in Berthoud, according to a Jan. 11 press release published by the LCSO.

A blue 1998 Jeep Cherokee traveling westbound on Highway 56 struck a median at Gateway Park Boulevard, crossed over Highway 56 and struck a power pole, ejecting a 40-year-old female believed to be the driver, who was taken to an area hospital. 

Highway 56 between Berthoud Parkway and Meadowlark Drive was closed for four hours as the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office CRASH Team investigated the scene. 

As of the press release, the female was in critical condition, and the investigation was ongoing. 

Shooting investigation 

A 17-year-old male reported that he was shot near the intersection of Harmony Road and Lady Moon Drive by unknown suspects Jan. 4, according to a Jan. 16 press release published by the City of Fort Collins. 

Detectives determined the male was actually shot during an attempted aggravated robbery that occurred in the 3000 block of County Fair Lane the same night. 

The adults involved in the incident include:

  • 20-year-old Jaquil Ellis, charged with attempted first degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a weapon by previous offender. 
  • 20-year-old Anthony Hammer, charged with attempt to influence a public servant, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a weapon by previous offender.
  • 18-year-old Andrew Herrera, charged with attempted aggravated robbery. 

The names of juveniles facing charges in the incident, including the 17-year-old male, will not be released. 

“Our detectives worked tirelessly on this case, and, because of their work, were able to remove dangerous weapons out of our community,” said Investigations Sergeant Gary Shaklee.

Matt Bailey can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MattBailey760.