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Thread: No charges against paramedic

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Jul 2008
    Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

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    A story from my local paper with self defense, negligent discharge, castle doctrine, a situation were you would like to have pepper spray, a little of everything.

    No charges against paramedic
    DA says shooting during assault permitted by law

    BY TREVOR HUGHES • • October 15, 2008

    District Attorney Larry Abrahamson on Tuesday announced he will not bring charges against Cody Bettcher, a local volunteer firefighter/paramedic, who shot a man Sept. 14 in Fort Collins after the man allegedly assaulted Bettcher's sister.

    Abrahamson said in a statement that Colorado law permits people to use reasonable force to defend themselves and others and that the shooting of Derek Patterson by Bettcher falls under that category.

    He said filing charges would not be "ethically" proper.

    Police said Bettcher, 24, had dropped off his sister on the 500 block of South Grant Street about 1 a.m. and was pulling away in his truck when she was verbally assaulted by a group of men, including Patterson.

    When a friend tried to intervene, police said, Patterson struck Bettcher's sister. Police said Bettcher got out of his truck carrying a handgun and warned Patterson to stop. Police said Patterson punched Bettcher in the face. Bettcher swung back, and the handgun went off, hitting Patterson with a round in the shoulder, police said.

    Patterson has not been charged, according to court records.

    Police said Bettcher reported the incident immediately and then used his medical training to help Patterson until an ambulance arrived. Bettcher is a volunteer with the Wellington Fire Protection District.

    Said Abrahamson in his statement: "Upon the arrival of the police, Cody Bettcher was determined to be sober and was cooperative with the police and their investigation. Derek Patterson was transported to the Medical Center of the Rockies for treatment of his injuries. According to reports, when interviewed by the police, Derek Patterson was vulgar and uncooperative."

    Abrahamson cited Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-704 in making his decision. That is a different law than the state's "Make My Day" law, C.R.S. 18-1-704.5, which permits residents to use deadly force to defend their homes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    thorvaldr wrote:
    He said filing charges would not be "ethically" proper.
    Prosecutorial discretion!

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