Contact: John Prennan Public Information Officer City of Fort Morgan (970) 542-3963
Members of the local law enforcement Special Response Team took a Fort Morgan man into custody after spending several hours surrounding his residence on Ash Street on Thursday.
Brian Hastings, 43, was arrested on a warrant that included three felony charges. His bond is to be determined at his first court appearance, which is likely to be Monday, Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich said.
FMPD officers initially went to Hastings’ home at 219 Ash St. about 9:25 am Thursday to serve a search warrant and execute an arrest warrant with four charges stemming from an incident approximately two weeks ago, said FMPD Lt. Darin Sagel. The search warrant was for evidence related to those charges.
Six FMPD officers were involved in the initial contact, Sagel said, and planned to notify Hastings of the arrest warrant and see if would go into custody willingly.
After more than an hour of negotiating with Hastings in an attempt to convince him to come out on his own, the decision was made to call on the SRT. The team is composed of officers from the FMPD as well as the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Kuretich said, and members from both agencies participated in Thursday’s incident.
The SRT used projectile pepper spray fired from a shotgun through a window of the home and forced entry into the residence, Sagel said. Six SRT members entered the home and Hastings was taken into custody.
The original charges on the arrest warrant included sexual assault, a Class 4 felony; false imprisonment, a Class 5 felony; violation of bail bond conditions, a Class 6 felony; and third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Sagel said Hastings would also face an additional misdemeanor charge of obstructing police, at a minimum, as a result of Thursday’s incident. Other charges could be added after the District Attorney’s Office reviews the case.
Hastings has served time in the Department of Corrections on another felony charge in the past, Sagel said, and was arrested on unrelated local charges in recent weeks.
During his incarceration at that time, Hastings made threats against law enforcement officers in general and those threats played a part in the decision to use the Special Response Team, the FMPD officials said.
“It was considered a high-risk warrant because of the threats, and we felt we needed to be ready with force if necessary,” Kuretich said.
Sagel said the threats by Hastings against law officers had been ongoing for the last few months.
The FMPD officers notified adjacent neighbors before the SRT was called in, asking them to stay inside their homes, and secured the entire block, Kuretich said. Additional patrol officers were called in to duty to cover the streets of the city while many FMPD personnel were involved in the incident on Ash Street, he said.
“The neighbors were very cooperative and adhered to our requests to stay indoors and not interfere, and this is very much appreciated,” the chief said. “It helps in not putting them or ourselves at risk.”