Police: Wildernest suspect sent threatening images of weapons to stalking victim
Justin King, a 26-year-old man who was arrested after a six-hour police standoff in Wildernest on May 27, had the night before been sending threatening images of “various firearms” to a woman he allegedly stalked twice this year, according to an arrest affidavit.
That document, made public on Monday, June 5, sheds light on the circumstances surrounding what was one of the largest Summit County police operations in the past year, involving dozens of police in tactical gear and an armored vehicle.
As previously reported by the Summit Daily, King was arrested for stalking on April 11 and 15 this year after allegedly sending hundreds of unwanted messages to a woman he had a brief relationship with in January.
He pleaded guilty to a similar stalking charge in 2015 and served 20 days in jail, according to court documents. Prior to his May 27 arrest, Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show at least 18 total stalking charges filed against him.
At the time of the incident last month, King was under two concurrent protection orders barring him from contacting his victim or possessing firearms. According to the affidavit, he nonetheless sent pictures of guns to the woman via social media and threatened to “come to her home and shoot the house up.”
The woman reported King to police the next day, and a Summit County sheriff’s deputy arrived at her home to review the messages. For the 30 minutes that the deputy was there, roughly 50 more messages arrived from King, the affidavit says.
Given the threatening nature of the messages, the deputy called in for backup and went to King’s house at 202 North Side Circle. King answered the front door, invited deputies inside and then ran for the basement, the affidavit says.
One of the deputies is said to have seen King with a handgun, and according to the affidavit, King yelled from the basement that he was holding it to his head. At no point does the sworn narrative indicate that King threatened anyone but himself.
Deputies say they then took positions above the basement stairs and called in for backup. Once a perimeter was established and a SWAT team arrived, they went outside, the affidavit says. At the time the affidavit was written, the situation was said to be ongoing.
According to a release from the Sheriff’s Office the next morning, King was peacefully arrested at around 11:37 p.m. and taken to the Summit County Jail. He was charged with domestic violence, stalking, menacing and violation of bond conditions and a protection order.
By Tuesday, May 30, King was no longer in the county jail. Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said on Friday, June 2, that King had not been released back into the community. He declined to comment on whether or not King had been taken to a mental health facility, citing patient privacy rules.
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