Man shot by Frisco police in January pleads guilty to assaulting a peace officer
BRECKENRIDGE — Derek Baker, 34, of Loveland, pleaded guilty Monday in Summit County District Court to assault on a peace officer, a Class 4 felony, according to a news release.
The plea stems from an officer-involved shooting Jan. 14 outside Whole Foods in Frisco. Baker entered the store at about 7:30 p.m. and allegedly assaulted a customer and told store cashiers he had a gun.
Former Summit Daily News photographer Hugh Carey was in the store at the time of the incident.
“In the cashiers’ area, people starting jumping, like jumping out of the way,” Carey said in January. “There were raised voices that I couldn’t understand, and one woman, who was sitting a few tables from us, ran out of the store, knocking over a chair. She said something about somebody with a gun in the store.”
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Baker left the store before officers arrived, and witnesses directed them to a silver Chevrolet Impala in the parking lot, according to the arrest affidavit. Officers boxed in Baker’s car using their patrol vehicles, drew their weapons and ordered him to stop.
Baker then put his car into reverse and hit a Colorado State Patrol vehicle before driving forward toward a Frisco Police Department officer, who fired two shots into the windshield, according to the release.
Baker was shot in the left forearm and was transported to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening.
Because Baker “has a history of mental instability,” according to the release, and seemed “confused and unaware of his surroundings” following the shooting, according to the affidavit, the court will determine whether he is eligible for mental health treatment.
“Defendant Baker threatened the life of a police officer but has accepted responsibility for his actions,” District Attorney Bruce Brown was quoted as saying in the release. “Hopefully, the help that defendant needs in order to get his life back on track can be received through the ultimate sentence. The incident is another sad chapter about the dangerousness that can accompany mental health challenges and a continuing need to find ways to help people before they present risk of harm to others.”
The felony charge comes with a four- to 12-year prison sentence. Baker is scheduled to be sentenced at 3 p.m. Aug. 26 in district court.
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