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Entries in Denver (15)

Saturday
Jun152013

Man Taken Into Custody After Apparent Bomb Scare on Airplane

Comstock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- A man was taken into custody by the FBI on Friday night after an apparent bomb scare on a plane bound for Denver.

The pilot made an emergency landing at the Denver Airport at about 7:30 p.m. The plane was immediately moved to a remote area.

The flight, carrying 136 passengers and five crew members, took off from Knoxville, Tenn.

Nick Dannenberg, who was traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 601 told Good Morning America he was seated near the man who reportedly told the flight attendant he had brought a bomb on board.

"The guy across the aisle from me pulled the flight attendant to the side and told her that he had a bomb in his backpack," Dannenberg said. "I can't even describe how fast my heart was beating."

The flight crew took the man's backpack to the back of the plane when they became aware of the potential safety risk, as passengers kept an eye on the passenger until the flight landed safely in Denver.

Meanwhile, children on board the flight were sent to the front of the plane for security purposes. There were three unaccompanied minors on the plane who were moved away from the potential bomb, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

Once grounded, authorities handcuffed and removed the man from the flight.

Passengers then left the aircraft, where they were met by the FBI and the Denver bomb squad on the tarmac.

All of the passengers were interviewed by law enforcement overnight.

The FBI would not comment as to whether or not an explosive device was recovered from the carry on.

Officials have not released the man's name.

There has been no decision on whether or not to prosecute the man. That decision will likely be made on Monday, law enforcement officials said. A law enforcement official briefed on the case says that the man is believed to be mentally unstable.

Copyright 2013 ABC News RadioCopyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr202013

Thousands of Pot Smokers Gather in Denver for 420 Rally

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather and smoke marijuana in downtown Denver to celebrate April 20, a stoner holiday known as 420.

The celebration, to be held in the Denver Civic Center Park, is the largest 420 gathering, and is expected to see 80,000 participants.

“We've already met people from all over the country,” said Miguel Lopez, who organized the rally.

This is the first 420 celebration in Denver since Colorado passed Amendment 64, which makes it legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The law does prohibit smoking in public, but with such  large numbers, officials say they won’t be targeting tokers, and instead will focus on crowd security.

“Even Amsterdam doesn't have the quality of legalization that Colorado does as far as marijuana,” said JJ Walker, the co-founder of My 420 Tours, the first pot-themed tour operator in the nation.

Washington State passed a nearly identical referendum, but Denver’s festivities are by far the largest.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec132012

People Set on Fire in Denver Attack

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Four people were sprayed with flammable liquid and set on fire inside an apartment building, Denver police told ABC News Radio.

Two men knocked on the door to an apartment in North Denver, and then attacked its occupants with a garden sprayer and flame, police told ABC News affiliate KMGH.

"Two men came to the door of the residence and said some words to the people inside then sprayed an accelerant on them and then ... set them afire," Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson told ABC News Radio.

"Three of the individuals have minor, non-life threatening injuries," he said. "One has more serious injuries and is being taken to an area hospital to be treated."

Police still were investigating the attacks, and did not yet have a motive for the attacks or detailed description of the suspects, KMGH reported.

"This is something I've never seen in my years ... someone set someone afire like this," Jackson told ABC News Radio. "This is highly unusual."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct172012

Denver Police Puzzled by Murders, Arson at Local Bar

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Denver police are puzzled by the late-night murder of four women and a man inside a bar that was then set on fire.

Fero's Bar & Grill erupted into flames early Wednesday morning shortly before closing time following a quiet night of drinking and poker, according to bar patrons. As firefighters battled the flames, they pulled five individuals from the fire, all of whom were dead and showed signs of traumatic homicide, police said Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities are asking bar patrons or witnesses to come forward with any information about how the homicides may have occurred. The police are currently canvassing the neighborhood seeking surveillance video, and are processing some tips, according to police chief Robert White.

"We'd like to think it's an isolated incident but we can't say that with any certainty," White said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. "It's very alarming, that 's why it's important we investigate it to the fullest."

Police believe all of the individuals were killed by some sort of trauma before the fire began, and did not die in the fire, they said.

"More than likely [this was] an attempt to conceal the homicide with an arson," Denver police commander Ron Saunier said.

Denver Fire Lt. Phil Champagne said there was extensive fire damage in the bar, and speculated that the fire would have been difficult to survive if the victims had not already died, according to ABC News affiliate KMGH.

The names of the individuals have not been released by the coroner's office.

Champagne said the fire department received a call around 1:50 a.m. about a fire at the bar. The bar typically closes at 2 a.m., according to police.

Bar patron Tim Johnson told KMGH that the bar was quiet Tuesday night, as he and other regulars played poker. He left the bar around 10:45 p.m., he said, though other players remained after he left.

The incident is being investigated as an arson-homicide, police said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug062012

87-Year-Old Accused of Growing Hundreds of Marijuana Plants

Hemera/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Edward Bogunovich, 87, is accused of growing more than 400 marijuana plants in the backyard of his Denver home.

Bogunovich faces charges that include cultivating marijuana in excess of 30 plants, and possessing more than 12 ounces of marijuana with intent to distribute more than 100 pounds of marijuana, according to a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Denver Police Detective Christopher Shotts said in an arrest affidavit obtained by ABC News that Bogunovich presented police with “questionable” state medical marijuana documents that provided for 231 marijuana plants between him and two others who were also growing plants in his backyard.

Bogunovich was growing 183 more plants than he was allowed, Shotts said in the affidavit. Police seized the plants, which weighed a combined 461 pounds.

Reached by phone Monday morning, Bogunovich denied to ABC News all the charges against him.

“I didn’t even have a pipe,” he said. “I’ve got zero plants, and I have papers to prove it.”

In a second interview later on Monday, Bogunovich told ABC News that there were hundreds of marijuana plants growing in his backyard, but said they were not his plants. The day before Denver police raided his home, he said he had divested ownership of his plants, adding that he had a notarized document to prove it.

Bogunovich was released from the Denver Detention Center on a $10,000 bond and is due back in court Thursday, according to ABC’s Denver affiliate KMGH.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun252012

Denver Cop Shot and Killed at Jazz Concert

Comstock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- A female police officer was fatally shot Sunday night while trying to break up a fight at a jazz concert in Denver, according to police.

The officer, who was identified by The Denver Post as a single mother and a seven-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, was struck in the head just after 8 p.m.  She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

The shooting sent hundreds of City Park Jazz concert-goers running in panic.

"We were just sitting here listening to the music, and all of a sudden we saw everybody running, saying, 'Everybody get down.  Everybody get down," a woman who attended the concert with her two young daughters told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV.

"We first thought it was a fight.  But everybody was running, saying, 'Somebody got shot,'" the woman said.

One person was taken into custody Sunday night, but it is not clear if he or she is the alleged shooter.

"We did make one arrest for an individual with a weapon ... It is not confirmed if that individual was involved in the shooting," Denver Police Chief Robert White said.

White said he hopes to know more details by Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb042012

Winter Storm Blasts Colorado, Heads East

Hemera/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- After blasting parts of Colorado with up to 6 feet of snow, the strongest storm of the winter season is now on track to pummel the central plains.

A winter storm warning was issued for parts of western Nebraska, northeastern Kansas and southeastern Iowa.

A little over a foot of snow blanketed parts of Nebraska overnight Friday. Impaired visibility also prompted officials to close Interstate 70, which connects Kansas and Denver, as well as a portion of the eastbound I-70, which connects Denver to the town of Limon.

The storm also caused an avalanche of 600 flights, including arrivals and departures, to be canceled from Denver International Airport Friday.

Ski resorts in the Colorado area were enjoying the fresh powder and hoped it would entice people to hit the slopes this weekend.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb032012

Winter Storm Could Bring Three Feet of Snow to Colorado 

Comstock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Record-setting snowfall is accumulating across the Midwest where areas of many states are under winter weather warnings, advisories, or even blizzard warnings until at least Friday evening.

The snow began early Friday morning and has been falling at rates of two to three inches per hour. Areas near Boulder have reported over 26 inches of snow, and the Winter Storm Warning in Denver has been extended until 5 a.m. Saturday, by which point areas northwest of the city could see nearly three feet of snow.

According to ABC News Meteorologist Max Golembo, the storm could be the biggest on record for the month of February, when Denver usually averages just six inches of snow during the whole month.

Denver has had a snowy winter, despite below-average snowfall totals in the eastern U.S.

Snow from the storm is forecast for Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. It is not expected to bring significant snow to the eastern part of the country.

The largest snowfall on record for Denver is 45.7 inches, set in 1913.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan232012

Colorado Man Arrested on Terror Charges

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Federal agents from the Denver and Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Forces have arrested an alleged Islamic radical Uzbek man living in Aurora, Colo., on charges of, "providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization" known as the Islamic Jihad Union.

A criminal complaint released Monday alleges Jamshid Muhtorov, 35, began communicating with an Islamic Jihad Union representative last year, pledging his allegiance to the organization and offering money for a "wedding gift." The term "wedding," the criminal complaint notes, is code for a terrorist event or attack.

In e-mails intercepted by the FBI, Muhtorov asked to be "invited to the wedding" said he was, "ready for any task, even with the risk of dying."

Muhtorov recently quit his job driving trucks and told his wife he was leaving the country for Istanbul, Turkey. He was arrested Saturday at Chicago's O'Hare airport and had his initial court appearance Monday where he waived an initial hearing, U.S. attorney spokesperson Jeffrey Dorschner said. An Illinois judge ordered Muhtorov be transported back to Colorado for prosecution.

"The alleged activities of Muhtorov highlight the continued interest of extremists residing in the United States to join and support overseas terrorists," the U.S. attorney said in a statement. "The government does not allege that Muhtorov was plotting attacks against any targets inside the United States."

The Islamic Jihad Union, designated a terrorist organization in 2005, is a Sunni extremist organization that seeks to replace secular rule in Uzbekistan with a government based on Islamic law, according to the U.S. State Department. The group is believed to have been behind simultaneous suicide bombings of the U.S. and Israeli embassies in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent in 2004 and "operated against" coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Aurora, Colo., is also the former home of another radical Muslim, Najibullah Zazi. He was arrested in 2009 and later pleaded guilty in a plot to blow up New York City subway trains.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec072011

Denver Cops Call Occupy Protesters ‘Hippies,’ ‘Civic Center Yahoos’

Natalie Behring/Getty Images(DENVER) -- The Denver Police Department apologized Wednesday after revealing officers exchanged text messages that referred to Occupy Denver protesters as “retards,” “hippies” and “civic center yahoos.”

In one of the texts sent using a car-to-car messaging system, dated Nov. 4, an officer responds to another about the growing size of the crowds, writing: “yup. but they claim to be peacefully protesting. I say we just baton the people who start to incite everyone. the rest who are peaceful, let em stay lol.”  

In a message from Oct. 13, officers discuss problems that might arise from protesters getting kicked out of Denver’s Civic Center Park: “probably little problems from the ‘real’ protesters, but the grungy hippies and the usual civic center yahoos will more than likely be a problem.”

Another officer wrote on Nov. 12: “This occupy s**t has got out of hand because this liberal administration has allowed them to.”

On the same date, one officer even boasts about setting up a Twitter account to harass Occupy Denver protesters: “a few of us set up a twitter account to harass the ‘occupy denver’ people … a video was posted with the [motorcycle] mc offcr a few weeks ago who’s bike was pushed … totally incriminating the guy and all the protesters were demanding on the video being taken down. was pretty funny. i love watching idiots make a fool of themselves … doesn’t get any better.”

Another officer refers to protesters as a "buncha occupy denver retards."

In a news release, the Denver Police Department called the behavior “inappropriate,” but noted “many Denver Police Officers have endured months of having to leave their families to come into work, giving up their days off and silently tolerating hours of taunting and abusive actions by some protestors.”

The department is taking steps to “remind all officers of our expectations,” Lt. Matt Murray, a police spokesman, said in a news release.

The messages were released, the statement said, “in a desire to be transparent to the people we serve.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio