Rifle Kum & Go robbed at gunpoint by 16-year-old
Rifle Citizen Telegram
Two teenaged suspects were arrested Wednesday evening after a reported armed robbery at a Rifle convenience store early that morning.
One the suspects video conferenced in to his arraignment hearing in Glenwood Springs from the Grand Junction juvenile detention center on Thursday. He was charged with second-degree burglary and carrying a concealed weapon, among other charges.
Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey said he felt the suspect clearly showed he was a danger to himself and others, and therefore should not be released at this time.
The suspect, 16, burglarized a Subway restaurant in Rifle early Wednesday morning and then went into the nearby Kum & Go and robbed the business, holding the employee in the store at the time at gunpoint, according to Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein.
The crimes occurred at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
At the arraignment hearing, Hershey said that while the suspect did not have any bullets in the gun, as he was under 18 and not old enough to purchase ammunition, the violent crime had a traumatic effect on the Kum & Go employee. Hershey added that, while the store clerk was sympathetic that he was a child, she was suffering from post-traumatic stress.
One officer involved in the case that Hershey talked to said that, had he come into the store and seen the suspect holding the Kum & Go employee at gunpoint, he was concerned he would have killed him.
Both the suspect’s parents were in the courtroom on Thursday and asked forgiveness for their son’s terrible mistake.
Public defender Kara Smith said that, while the allegations were concerning, “the court should consider all the information before it,” and asked that he be released form the detention facility.
Smith said the juvenile had no prior history of violence and the complete context of his background and character show he is not a danger.
She added that he had no bullets in the gun and was cooperative with law enforcement following his arrest.
Judge Paul Metzger said that, while there are not many indicators from his past that show he’s a violent individual, his recent conduct led the court to determine that he is a danger to himself and the community.
He ruled the suspect stay in the detention facility and be given a service assessment on Monday. The case was continued to May 8.
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