Suspect in fatal crash was out on bail
GRAND JUNCTION ” The former Lafayette policeman accused of killing two Mesa State students had been released on $15,000 bond in February over the objections of Park County officials after he allegedly assaulted the county sheriff following a high-speed chase.
“I thought he was a clear and present danger to the motoring public,” Deputy District Attorney Martin Kenney, of Fairplay told the Rocky Mountain News. Patrick Strawmatt of Westminster was charged with vehicular eluding, assault on a police officer and driving while intoxicated.
“I used to be a (state) trooper, and this was very disturbing,” Kenney said. “He took on three uniformed officers, rammed the sheriff’s car and punched the sheriff.”
Fairplay Magistrate Larry Allen declined to deviate from the county’s bond schedule despite Strawmatt’s previous criminal record, said Kenney. Strawmatt got out of the jail the same day he was charged. Allen was not available for comment. There was no telephone listed for him in the Fairplay area.
On Saturday, Strawmatt, who served on the Lafayette force for seven years, was being held on $1 million bond in Mesa County on suspicion of first-degree murder and 13 other charges, including driving while intoxicated.
State Troopers accused him of ramming a small car while fleeing arrest at more than 100 mph Thursday night. The two passengers, Jennifer Kois of Brighton and her boyfriend, Jacob Brock of Eagle, both 19-years-old, were killed.
Truck drivers had reported Strawmatt driving erratically. When troopers encountered him he made an obscene gesture and sped off, said Trooper Scott Simons. When he was being pulled from the wreckage of his SUV he spit and cursed officers, Trooper Ron Greasley told the Rocky.
Former Lafayette Police Chief Leo Carillo said Strawmatt never caused any problems and resigned in 1994. He was not fired.
Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show that in the ten years after he left the department he was arrested at least 10 times.
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