Seven-hour standoff in Dotsero ends when felon surrenders to SWAT team |

Seven-hour standoff in Dotsero ends when felon surrenders to SWAT team

This Colorado parole officer, strapping on a helmet and rushing to the scene, helped negotiate Santos Crespin's surrender after a seven-hour armed standoff.
Randy Wyrick | |

DOTSERO — A seven-hour standoff in a mobile home park ended peacefully Tuesday when a man surrendered to the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit team members who had surrounded his trailer.

Santos Crespin, 37, was not armed when he emerged from the trailer with his hands up at 6:06 p.m.

How it began

The whole thing began earlier in the day following a domestic dispute, when a crying woman walked into a Gypsum convenience store, authorities said. Police said they were called and went to the Dotsero home.

Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies were first on the scene, parking two patrol vehicles in front of the trailer, they said. When deputies arrived and attempted to contact Crespin, they said he refused to come to the door and barricaded himself inside.

Support Local Journalism

Deputies were told Crespin may be armed.

The Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit — the local SWAT team ­— arrived and quickly geared up.

MRAP moving

As the deputies in front of the trailer continued to monitor the situation, the SOU mounted the county’s military MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected) armored vehicle to make sure the adjacent trailers were evacuated.

Because they did not know Crespin’s mental state or whether he was armed, they used the MRAP to move the neighbors to a safe location, said Greg Daly, Avon police chief and SOU commander. The MRAP was designed to stand up to IEDs in Afghanistan.

“We were taking no chances that anyone might be in the adjacent trailers,” Daly said.

Because Crespin might have been armed, the Sheriff’s Office issued a “shelter in place” alert for the mobile home park, warning residents to stay inside. Traffic into and out of the park was stopped, and residents were sent to the community center across the highway in Two Rivers Village to wait it out.

When SOU members surrounded Crespin’s trailer, he could be seen peeking through the curtains on the windows.

Deputies shouted back and forth for hours with Crespin while he was holed up in the trailer.

Extensive criminal record

Crespin has an extensive criminal record, although he has not been contacted by law enforcement authorities for the past two years, police records show.

As fate would have it, his Rifle-based parole officers were in Glenwood Springs on business when they received the call. They sped to Dotsero and waited for one of the SOU members to put a tactical phone unit into Crespin’s hands, so the parole officers and negotiators with the Eagle County Sheriff’s office could speak with him.

At 5:30 p.m., behind a bulletproof riot shield, officers took the tactical phone to the front door that Crespin could use to speak with them.

One of Crespin’s parole officers, who declined to give his name, handled the negotiations that convinced Crespin to surrender about a half hour later.

Crespin was taken into custody without incident.

Deputies recovered a revolver from inside the residence after the incident.

Crespin was booked into the Eagle County jail on charges of felony menacing, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and domestic violence. He is being held without bond for parole violation.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle Police Department, Avon Police Department, Vail Police Department, Vail Public Safety Communications Center, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District and the Gypsum Fire Protection District worked collaboratively on this incident.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

Support Local Journalism