Man arrested after threatening officers with hatchet

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A local man was arrested Monday after threatening several police officers with a raised hatchet, according to court documents.

Jose Orozco, 35, was charged with assault in the first degree for threatening the officers with a deadly weapon, as well as several other charges including possession of a dangerous or illegal weapon.

Orozco was contacted by the Grand Junction Police Department in the 400 block of South Avenue after he reportedly threatened staff of a local business. The staff member said he told Orozco, whom he believed was homeless, to leave the property several times, but Orozco refused.

When the staff member took out a phone to call the police, Orozco reportedly said if he called the police “it would be for a murder charge,” according to the affidavit. Another staff member was able to report the incident to the police.

When the Grand Junction Police officers approached Orozco, he reportedly picked up a hatchet and raised it in a threatening manner. The officers, believing Orozco might throw the weapon, drew their firearms. Orozco reportedly dropped the hatchet and was arrested without further incident.

Among Orozco’s possessions was a rope attached to a metal trailer hitch, which is defined as “a hand operated striking weapon” or “blackjack” under Colorado law, according to the report. It is included in a list of illegal weapons under Colorado statute.

This incident occurred one day before Grand Junction Police Chief Doug Shoemaker reported in a post to the department’s website that violent crime in the city has risen 36% in 2020 and assaults on police officers has risen 395%.

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