Man suspected of slitting Hayden officer’s wrist
Steamboat Springs — The community of Hayden is thankful one of its police officers is safe following a life-threatening encounter with a suspect that left the officer with a slit wrist.
“I’ve had many calls and well wishes,” Hayden Chief Greg Tuliszewski said.
The injured officer was Shawn Hockaday. He grew up in Hayden, and Tuliszewski said he is an integral part of the department.
Hayden resident Michael Coleman, 34, faces charges of felony first-degree assault, resisting arrest, violation of a protection order, harassment and two counts of child abuse.
At about 7:40 p.m. Christmas Day, police responded to a residence on East Lincoln Avenue for a report of a man who had possibly swallowed razor blades.
Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jake Doolin was in the area and arrived before Hockaday.
“This time we were very fortunate a deputy was in the area, and they were able to go in as a team,” Tuliszewski said.
After arriving at the residence, Doolin and Hockaday spoke to upset family members, who said Coleman was no longer there.
According to an arrest affidavit, Coleman returned and tried to walk past Hockaday, and Hockaday put his hand on Coleman’s chest and told him he needed to cooperate. Coleman said “do not touch me” and left the residence.
Hockaday caught up with Coleman and told him to stop. Hockaday grabbed Coleman’s left arm because he noticed Coleman was holding a black object, according to the affidavit.
Hockaday then put his arm around Coleman’s waist to try and detain him, and Coleman said “oh, this is how it’s going to be.”
A scuffle ensued, and the men went to the ground.
“While we were on the ground, he was trying to roll me over onto the ground by swinging his arms and kneeing me in the legs at the waist area,” Hockaday stated in the affidavit.
Hockaday was able to use his radio and ask Doolin to respond and help again.
“Michael still was fighting me trying to get away flailing his arms trying to strike me and kicking his legs,” Hockaday said in the affidavit. “I began to feel light-headed, my left hand was really warm, and my patrol glove was saturated with blood. I then began to lose feeling in my left hand, and I lost grip pressure. At this point in time I was afraid that I was going to pass out and worried Michael was going to cause serious bodily injury to me.”
Hockaday radioed “I need someone ASAP.”
Doolin then arrived to help Hockaday put handcuffs on Coleman. They struggled to get a flashlight out of Coleman’s hands.
Hockaday looked down at his wrist and saw a gash with a stream of blood falling onto the snow.
Hockaday later learned he had been cut by a “self-defense flashlight with metal spikes,” according to the affidavit. The affidavit did not specifically state the flashlight belonged to Hockaday or Coleman.
Tuliszewski did not want to discuss details of the incident because it was still under investigation.
First-degree assault is a Class 3 felony. Coleman’s bond was set at $250,000 Tuesday.
The Eighth Judicial District will be prosecuting the case because Hockaday’s wife works for the 14th Judicial District.
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The Routt County Democratic Party and the area’s democratic candidates are used to spending annual fundraisers inside the Steamboat Springs Community Center for a lively night of speeches, applause and socializing.