A transient living since at least last year in Summit County was sentenced Monday, April 28 in Summit County District Court to five years in the Colorado Department of Corrections as part of a plea deal with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Eric Fire, 23, had five active cases in Summit County going back to 2013. He pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree assault on a peace officer, attempted second-degree burglary and violation of probation.
Fire’s sentences will run concurrent and the two other cases, involving misdemeanor violations, have been dropped.
Fire’s first run-in with local law enforcement took place in 2013 when he allegedly poured water and whiskey on passengers on a Summit Stage bus, according to court records. Law enforcement officers responded to the incident after Fire refused to exit the bus.
Fire was placed into custody and transported to Summit County jail where, upon his arrival, he head-butted a jail deputy in the forehead, records stated.
Fire again sparred with local law enforcement in January when Breckenridge police were dispatched to the Breckenridge Transport Center for a report of a man who was unresponsive. Fire reportedly became agitated with officers while they were trying to determine if he needed medical assistance. He punched one in the face and tackled a second, records stated, drawing another second-degree assault on a peace officer charge.
Fire was on probation at the time of the January assault, records stated. Alcohol is thought to be a contributing factor in both assault cases.
Fire was again arrested in March when DNA results connected him to a September 2013 burglary of Silverthorne Liquors, in which numerous bottles of alcohol and boxes of cigarettes were stolen. Several bottles also were broken during the course of the crime, cutting Fire and causing him to leave blood evidence behind at the scene, according to records.
Mark Thompson, chief judge of the 5th Judicial District, took Fire’s consistent aggression towards law enforcement when determining his sentence, but opted on five years, which is the stipulated minimum for a second-degree assault charge, according to Colorado Revised Statutes.
However, deputy district attorney John Franks, who prosecuted Fire, said because of the violent nature of the offenses, Fire would have to complete at least 75 percent of his sentence before becoming parole eligible. Additionally, now that Fire has three qualifying felony convictions in Summit County, should he commit another felony in Colorado in the future the prosecuting district attorney’s office would be able to attach “habitual criminal” sentencing enhancers.
“Obstructing, resisting and assaulting police officers protecting all of us is beyond unacceptable,” said district attorney Bruce Brown. “Mr. Fire, with three incidents, has earned a trip to prison for five years.
“If Mr. Fire continues to offend after he is released and doesn’t deal with his alcohol addiction, the prospects of a life spent in prison will become a reality.”
Fire received 97 days of credit for time already served at Summit County jail.