DUI suspect accused of assault after officer has heart attack

DUI suspects in Colorado and elsewhere can occasionally be disruptive and uncooperative. The lessening of inhibitions can carry through to interfere with the orderly apprehension and processing of a highly inebriated person. Often DUI suspects who act up are suffering intensified emotional disturbances in addition to inebriation.

Many different and bizarre tales exist regarding the spectacles carried out by accused DUI defendants. In one Colorado incident recently, a man who was stopped under suspicion of driving a scooter while under the influence of alcohol did not cooperate with Edgewater police officers. The authorities allege that the suspect fought officers as they were trying to take him into custody.

The details of the DUI arrest and the surrounding circumstances are currently unknown. The detention was instead overshadowed by the man's resistance to police. The fight with the officers is alleged to have played a part in one of the arresting officers having a heart attack during the scuffle. The officer is now in critical condition at the Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge.

In addition to the DUI charge, the suspect is now incarcerated in a county jail in Colorado under suspicion of second-degree assault of a police officer and other charges. The weakness in the prosecution case on the assault charge may be that the officer had a pre-existing heart condition and would have suffered the attack under any somewhat stressful situation. That fact makes it difficult to impose fault on the accused, who could not have formulated the intent to assault in any event.

The suspect's defense counsel will likely attempt to draw a distinction under Colorado law between the suspect's actions on the DUI and the officer's pre-existing medical condition. The elements of assault, particularly the necessity of intent and general causation, may have been nonexistent under these facts. However, if the defendant admits the assaultive actions took place, then the prudent strategy would be to obtain a suitable plea bargain.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Edgewater Officer Hospitalized After DUI Arrest Struggle", June 24, 2017

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