An Aurora man has been found guilty of a crime spree that ended with him being shot by police officers.
Keith Alfonzo Roberts, 31, was found guilty Jan. 31 of two counts of first-degree assault against Denver Police officers and six counts of felony menacing against a family and three Denver Police officers, among other charges.
“Another convicted felon obtained an assault rifle and this is the result. For those who value our Second Amendment rights, we must vigorously and appropriately enforce our laws against those who felons who illegally seek and obtain firearms of any kind. Anyone who threatens police and an innocent family with a weapon risks being shot and should expect to be held accountable and removed from our community,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Roberts could have been killed. He was lucky to escape his criminal conduct with felony convictions and prison.”
The incident began shortly after noon on June 18, 2017, when Denver Police received a report that a man in a car had pointed a gun at a family near the intersection of East Elmendorf Place and North Tulsa Way. Denver police arrived and found the suspect vehicle, a silver Chevrolet Impala, which was being driven by the sole occupant, later identified as Keith Alfonzo Roberts.
Three patrol cars pursued the Impala into Aurora as it sped and weaved through traffic. Officers saw Roberts with a rifle, which he pointed at them.
The Impala turned into an apartment complex at East Alameda Avenue and East Ohio Avenue, where it was pinned by one of the patrol vehicles.
Officers got out of their vehicles. Roberts stayed in the Impala. The windshield of the Impala was shattered, and two officers fired at the Impala.
Roberts was shot and taken into custody. The loaded rifle was found in his lap with a spent shell casing on the passenger seat. A handgun found in the car had bullets in the magazine and chamber.
Roberts was released from the hospital after two days. He was then arrested and charged with multiple felonies.
The district attorney’s office determined the Denver officers were legally justified in their use of force.
“The defendant got himself to where he was by threatening a family with an AR-15 assault rifle … by waving a loaded handgun at police,” Deputy District Attorney Kristin Tuttle told the jury during closing arguments. “He took police on a high-speed chase on roads and highways packed with members of our communities on Father’s Day.”
Deputy District Attorney Michael Mauro, who prosecuted the case with Tuttle, reminded the jury that heroin was found in Roberts’ pocket and urged them to apply reason and commonsense to their verdict.
These are the charges of which Roberts was found guilty:
• Two counts of first-degree assault, threatening a peace office with a weapon
• Six counts of felony menacing
• Two counts of vehicular eluding
• One count of reckless driving
• One count of possession of a controlled substance
Roberts also pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
Sentencing is set for March 30.