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Homemade gas attack targets Colorado police officer clearing street, police say

An Arvada, Colorado, police officer investigating downed traffic signs collapsed early Saturday after someone hurled a plastic container at him, releasing a chemical gas, authorities say.
An Arvada, Colorado, police officer investigating downed traffic signs collapsed early Saturday after someone hurled a plastic container at him, releasing a chemical gas, authorities say. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dominic Battista didn’t like the looks of what he discovered driving home in Arvada, Colorado, just after midnight Saturday, KDVR reported.

“There had been a bunch of street signs dislodged and set up as a barricade across the road,” Battista said, according to the station. He drove off to call 911, then returned to help an officer clear the road.

Then someone hurled a plastic container at the men, creating a “big cloud of gas,” said detective David Snelling, KMGH reported. Overcome, the officer collapsed.

The officer was treated and released at a hospital, The Denver Post reported.

On Sunday, police announced on Twitter they had arrested several people in connection with the incident and said more information would be released Monday.

Police Chief Link Strate had earlier vowed to find those responsible, The Denver Post reported.

“The Arvada Police Department takes any assault against our officers and our community seriously. Our investigation will not stop until these individuals are taken into custody,” Strate said in a statement Saturday, according to the publication.

“There have been multiple occasions where it seems like some pranksters have set up some boobytraps or fishing line or some saran wrap across the road for your car to run into but this one was a little more serious and spooky,” Battista said, KDVR reported.

Police are still working to determine the chemical make-up of the gas, KMGH reported.

Weslaco Police are searching for a suspect who refused to turn a vehicle off during a traffic stop then took off with an officer on the car.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.


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