Silverthorne man pleads guilty after being arrested for brandishing gun in road rage incident
SILVERTHORNE — Takoda Castillo, a Silverthorne man arrested in January after waving a gun at a woman during a road rage incident, pleaded guilty to a charge of felony menacing during a hearing at the Summit County Justice Center this week.
Castillo, 22, appeared on bond at a brief hearing in front of Summit County Judge Edward Casias on Wednesday afternoon and entered a guilty plea to a charge of menacing, a class 5 felony. He received a three year deferred judgment and sentence, along with a year of supervised probation.
On Jan. 26, officers with the Dillon Police Department responded to a call of a possible road rage incident in which a suspect waived a handgun at a woman in another car.
According to the victim, she was leaving the City Market parking lot in Dillon when a man, later identified as Castillo, pulled up behind her and began “revving his engine” and trying to get her to turn right onto a red light, according to a police report of the incident. The woman said Castillo continued to yell and gesticulate with his hands until she eventually gave him the middle finger and drove off, going west.
Castillo followed her and caught up near Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne, where he passed her and “waived a big black gun” at her. The victim pulled into a nearby parking lot and called the police. According to the report, the woman said she was afraid for her life but was able to provide police with Castillo’s license place number.
“When I first saw the gun, I was completely shocked and scared,” the victim wrote in her witness statement. “I kept my cool long enough to drive to a safe parking lot, but when I parked and called my fiance, I burst into tears. I have never been threatened by a deadly weapon before, and the shock wore off into fearing for my safety.”
The Dillon officer met with two Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the parking lot and left to track down Castillo at his residence. According to the report, Castillo was compliant throughout the process, allowing officers to search his home and telling them where he kept his gun. Officers found the gun fully loaded and took it into evidence. Castillo was arrested and taken to the Summit County Jail.
At the hearing Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Kylie Whitaker said the victim in the case was supportive of an agreement that would keep the charge off Castillo’s record but asked that he look into why he got so angry. Whitaker also proposed some sort of deferred judgment in the case.
“He’s a 22-year-old, and I don’t want to see him stuck with a felony forever,” Whitaker said. “But it is serious to flash a gun at someone. (The victim) was scared for her life.”
Castillo spoke on his own behalf at the hearing, offering a promise to learn from the experience.
“I’d like to say, ‘I’m sorry,’” Castillo said. “It’s something that I must learn from and get over. I can learn from it and not let it affect who I am.”
Casias gave Castillo a three year deferred judgment and sentence — meaning if he doesn’t get in trouble for three years, the conviction will be withdrawn and dismissed, otherwise he’ll have to return for resentencing. He was also give a year of supervised probation and will be required to write a letter of apology to the victim. He won’t be allowed to possess a firearm during the three-year period.
Casias emphasized to Castillo that incidences involving guns can be unpredictable, noting that the woman could have panicked and swerved off the road or someone else could have panicked and shot him.
“It doesn’t take much to cross over those lines,” Casias said. “Learn from it, move on and make sure it stays off your record. If you get a felony like this at 22, a lot of doors can close to you.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.