DA files motion to dismiss harassment charge against FWP police officer
The District Attorney’s Office filed a motion on Thursday seeking to dismiss the charge of harassment against a Fraser Winter Park police officer who was arrested in June.
According to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office booking log, deputies arrested Sgt. Sean Curran around 10:45 p.m. June 28 on a harassment charge with a domestic violence enhancer. The arrest affidavit says an officer arrived at Curran’s home around 8:30 p.m., where both Curran and his partner told the officer they were in a verbal argument.
In the motion, District Attorney Matt Karzen states there is a lack of evidence to prove any physical contact was made with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm Curran’s partner, which is a necessary element for charging him with harassment.
“Touching another person isn’t enough,” Karzen explained over the phone. “You have to do it with specific intent to harass, annoy or alarm.”
Video footage filmed by Curran’s partner appears to show the majority of the incident. According to a summary of the video in the motion to dismiss, the couple was in a verbal argument, and Curran attempted to remove himself from the situation multiple times.
The summary states that Curran repeatedly asked to be left alone, but his partner continued following him from room to room filming the conversation, as well as preventing Curran from leaving a room and picking a locked door to gain access to him.
In the affidavit, the partner alleged that Curran pushed her three times but did not strike her. According to Karzen’s motion, the instances where Curran made physical contact were “minor and appear incidental to the defendant’s effort to leave the area where the victim (was) located.”
The affidavit added that Curran was holding his child for the duration of the argument, and the partner alleged the child was hit with a cellphone when she set the phone on a sink and Curran grabbed for it. However, Curran claims his partner attempted to take the child from his arms by grabbing the child’s leg and pulling on him.
This part of the incident was not caught on film by the cellphone. It appears the “video function was turned off, malfunctioned or was edited as opposed to the phone being placed face down or something similar, as the image disappears suddenly and completely.”
Karzen added that, based on video and written evidence, it’s possible that Curran’s partner committed harassment, false imprisonment and second-degree tampering, but there are no plans to move forward with those charges either.
Despite the “profound lack of judgment and an alarming lack of parenting or coping skills by both parents,” Karzen states, the incident is not appropriate for criminal justice intervention.
Ultimately, the motion says the lack of evidence to prove intent means that the charge against Curran should be dropped and any new charges would be unlikely to be successful in court.
Curran is scheduled to appear for a continued arraignment hearing on July 22 at the Grand County County Court unless Judge Nicholas Catanzarite makes a ruling before then.
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