Wildernest man arrested in SWAT raid had at least 18 prior domestic abuse charges | SummitDaily.com

Wildernest man arrested in SWAT raid had at least 18 prior domestic abuse charges

John Michael King, 26, was arrested after a six-hour standoff with police, who say he was armed and threatened to kil them.
Courtesy of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office |

Last Saturday, May 27, dozens of police in tactical gear swarmed a duplex in Wildernest located at 202 North Side Circle where a man, 26-year-old Justin Michael King, was allegedly barricaded alone inside, armed and threatening to kill himself and police.

King eventually surrendered and was charged with domestic violence, stalking, menacing and violation of a protective order and bond conditions, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Beyond that, however, the circumstances leading up to King’s arrest are still unclear; an arrest affidavit for King was not filed in court until late Friday afternoon, June 2, and was not available at press time.

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said the affidavit was delivered to the District Attorney’s Office on May 30. District Attorney Bruce Brown said that a delay in filing paperwork is not uncommon.

FitzSimons said that King was not currently in jail but that he had not been released into the community, either. He declined to comment on whether or not King had been transferred to a mental health facility, citing patient privacy rules.

Because the court clerk is required to redact the document before releasing it, the Summit Daily was not able to obtain a clearer picture of how an initial harassment call turned into a massive SWAT team raid that shut down Ryan Gulch Road and left perplexed neighbors confined to their homes for roughly six hours.

One nearby resident recalled heavily armed police dashing around in front of her home and taking up defensive positions as an armored vehicle rumbled back and forth along the road.

King’s arrest last Saturday was his most dramatic, but it was not his first: According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, he has been detained seven times since 2015, all in Summit County.

His five-page rap sheet shows 18 charges filed against him before last Saturday’s incident. All of those are related to various forms of harassment, stalking and domestic violence.

According to a May 29, 2015, arrest affidavit, King incessantly called and texted his ex-girlfriend as many as 50 times a day despite getting no responses, prompting the victim to “fear for her safety” and feel “serious emotional distress.”

He was arrested and charged with stalking and domestic violence, and police confiscated a loaded shotgun from his home, the affidavit says.

The victim got a protection order against King in that case, but he broke it just two months later. On Aug. 4, 2015, he showed up at the victim’s house twice trying to speak with her, in violation of the order, which he said he “didn’t care about,” according to an affidavit.

King then proceeded to call the victim incessantly and inundate her with harassing text messages. He was later arrested and charged with two misdemeanors and four felonies. He pleaded guilty to stalking, a class-five felony, and received a deferred sentence of 20 days in jail and two years’ probation.

A year-and-a-half later, a similar pattern of stalking and harassing allegedly resurfaced, although it is unclear from redacted affidavits whether or not the same victim was involved.

On the night of April 10, 2017, a woman in Silverthorne reported a suspicious man walking around in front of her house before “picking up a rock and then hiding behind her car,” an affidavit says.

The woman told police she believed it was King, with whom she had been in a relationship for roughly a week in January. In March, she told police, he began harassing her at her work and placing “partially burned letters” on her car, according to the affidavit.

In April, the affidavit says, King’s behavior turned “more severe,” and over five days he allegedly called the woman 102 times and texted her 90 times “at all hours of the day.”

According to the affidavit, King admitted to repeatedly trying to contact the woman using masked phone numbers and false social media accounts — but only because he “wanted his sweatshirt back.”

He admitted to speaking “aggressively,” the affidavit says. He was arrested and charged with stalking, domestic violence and violation of bond.

Five days later, King allegedly emailed the woman several times and repeatedly attempted to contact her from different phone numbers, in violation of a protection order from the previous incident.

He was arrested and charged with domestic violence and violation of a protection order and bond conditions.

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