04/18/2001

Arrest made with less than deadly force
[Lamar, CO]

By Hew Hallock
Lamar Daily News

LAMAR - Police say a Lamar man is lucky to be alive after he allegedly threatened officers with a pair of knives.

According to a media release from the Lamar Police Department, John M. Lucero, 42, was arrested by police late last night and charged with two counts of felony menacing, second degree assault, domestic violence, and criminal mischief.

Just before midnight, officers were called to the 900 block of South Seventh Street in Lamar on an unknown situation. After arrival they were told there was a possible domestic violence incident in progress.

First on the scene was Officer Garth Crowe. Lucero reportedly began advancing toward Crowe who was warned by the female victim that Lucero had a knife. Crowe saw the knives and notified other officers of the situation.

LPD Corporal Dale Varra and Prowers County Deputy Troy Hardwick arrived shortly on the scene followed by LPD Officer Tony Medina.

Armed with the two knives, Lucero allegedly continued advancing upon the officers despite their demands to drop the knives and give up.

Officer Medina fired several rounds from a bean bag shotgun hitting Lucero who dropped the knives and was then taken into custody.

This morning Lamar Police Chief John Hall praised the officers for their judgement in handling the incident. He called last night's situation "tense" and described Lucero's actions as life-threatening to the policemen. It was a case that could have easily escalated to the use of deadly force by the officers, according to Hall. The suspect's life was probably saved by the officer using the newly acquired bean bag shotgun.

Lucero received only minor injuries from the bean bag rounds. He repeatedly refused medical attention and help from the officers. No officers or other victims were injured in the incident.

Police do not know the reasons for Lucero's alleged actions. He currently is being held in Prowers County Jail without bond.

Courtesy of Lamar Daily News, MediaNews Group, Inc. and Eastern Colorado Publishing Co.

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