Fort Collins, CO – A female suspect managed to gain control of a Fort Collins police officer’s duty weapon as she was being transported to jail on Sunday, leading to a lengthy standoff in the facility’s sally port.
The incident began shortly after 4 p.m. on Feb. 19, when the Fort Collins Police Department received a report of a shoplifting at a store in the southeast section of the city, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said in a press release the following day.
Officers responded to the scene and ended up arresting 38-year-old Patricia Rodriguez in connection with the incident.
Rodriguez was then transported to the Larimer County Jail.
The arresting officer pulled into the jail’s sally port and proceeded to secure his duty weapon, “which is required prior to entering the booking area” of the facility, the LCSO noted.
But when he went to remove Rodriguez from the patrol vehicle, he realized she was no longer restrained.
“…he found that she had slipped out of her handcuffs, manipulated the storage safety measures, and accessed his firearm,” the LCSO said.
Rodriguez allegedly pointed the gun at the officer and tried to take him hostage, but he managed to escape into the booking area, which was secured.
The suspect then proceeded to barricade herself inside the patrol vehicle and refused to come out, the LCSO said.
Additional Fort Collins police officers responded to the scene, as well as LCSO deputies, the LCSO All Hazards/Crisis Response Team, SWAT, Poudre Fire Authority, crisis negotiators, and UCHealth Emergency Medical Services personnel.
“Law enforcement used numerous less-lethal tools in an effort to get Rodriguez to surrender,” the LCSO said.
The suspect was ultimately taken into custody “with the assistance of LCSO K9 Tyr” at approximately 7:30 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
After being cleared by medical personnel, Rodriguez was booked into the Larimer County Jail on two no-bond felony warrants and one misdemeanor warrant.
She was also charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, first-degree assault, criminal mischief, attempted second-degree kidnapping, disarming a peace officer, and resisting arrest.
Fort Collins police are pursuing a separate theft charge against her in connection with the initial arrest.
Larimer County Sheriff John Feyen praised the multiagency response to the incident and said he was pleased with the ultimate outcome.
“This suspect showed a disturbing disregard for the lives of first responders, the inmates in our care, and our community,” Sheriff Feyen said in the press release. “I’m extremely grateful to everyone who worked together to safely resolve this incident and minimize disruption to jail operations. Challenging situations like this demonstrate the importance of top-notch training and strong relationships.”