In late September, SWAT officers were summoned to a “felony child abuse investigation” which resulted in a barricaded suspect. After several hours, the suspect released his 6-year old daughter, who he was suspected of abusing. Then the SWAT team received the order to “vacate” and they did just that, without arresting the suspect.
It all unfolded on September 24th when officers with the Aurora, Colorado Special Weapons and Tactics team were called as a result of a child abuse investigation. The suspect, Eric Burns, 39, also outstanding misdemeanor, no-bond domestic violence warrant out of Denver and was additionally suspected of assaulting his son and abusing his daughter.
SWAT team members were on the scene for just over six hours when Burns released his 6-year old daughter after successful negotiations with a police negotiator. For four additional hours, SWAT officers sat at the ready as the negotiator continued to try and talk burns into surrendering, but to no avail. It was at this point, a new policing tactic was deployed, and the SWAT officers packed up and left, leaving the wanted criminal to escape into the night.
As it turns out, burns also had a felony kidnapping warrant as well, but apparently the Aurora police did not know of that warrant. This new tactic by the police to allow an accused child abuser escape was explained in a statement to CBS by the Aurora police.
“Members of our community and across the nation have made it very clear that they want their police department to respond differently to some incidents, particularly when there is a possibility of using serious force against a subject.” The statement went on to say “avoiding unnecessary confrontations was now a top priority for the department.”
“Sometimes this means walking away from a situation and utilizing investigative resources to apprehend persons at a later time,” said the APD statement. Well that is just great.
Aurora police have not been able to locate Burns since they let him escape. To our surprise, this is not the first time this happened. Aurora police officers walked away from a 47-year old Robert Thompson, who appeared to be “delusional,” had allegedly exposed himself to young children, and threw a rock though a neighbors sliding glass door. Police walked away only to be called back the very next day after Thompson apparently went nuts, ransacking his roommates home. Police attempted to deploy a Taser, but Thompson was able to escape and barricade himself in a bedroom.
Police had to call the fire department to use a ladder to evacuate two people who were in the home from a second floor window. To the surprise of the community, police just packed up and left for a second day. They did return one day later, and arrested Thompson.
“I totally understand that there’s people that were, that felt like they were abandoned,” said Aurora Police Deputy Chief Darin Parker in a statement. YOU THINK????