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Felony menacing charged against speeding semi-trailer driver

Many criminal charges are lodged against motorists for assaultive or threatening behavior in Colorado as well as throughout the country. One unusual incident recently resulted in the felony arrest of a 45-year-old man in Weld County. The man allegedly was driving a semi-trailer and apparently sped through a construction zone twice, to the consternation of the construction workers at the site.

On the second drive through, a worker allegedly recognized the vehicle and tried to slow the driver down, only to be "flipped off" by the speeding driver. That worker and a co-worker then decided to follow the semi-trailer, allegedly to obtain the information to report to police. They found the vehicle parked on the side of a road not far from the construction site.

When they pulled up, the workers assert that the driver got out of the truck and threatened them with a sledge hammer. One of the workers punched the driver in the face, knocking him down and unconscious. When police arrived, the driver reportedly could not remember anything but he did remember being assaulted.

The police responded to the driver's story by booking him into Weld County Jail on an indicated felony menacing charge.  There is a basic weakness, however, in the workers' version of events that may supply a criminal defense before the matter is concluded. It can be strongly argued that the workers had a duty to call the police when the truck sped through the work site.

If they had called the police immediately, the authorities would likely have been able to track the truck from its reported description. However, by taking matters into their own hands, the workers may have crossed the line of appropriate and legal behavior under the facts. In addition, knocking the driver unconscious seems to be a tough thing to do to someone who is allegedly approaching and menacing with a sledge hammer. The police may assert the speeding through the site as part of the menacing charge, but defense counsel experienced with the Colorado felony menacing law may be able to defuse the import of that argument.

Source: greeleytribune.com, "Truck driver sped through construction zone, menaced workers, Windsor police say", June 9, 2017

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