We moved Boulder Crime News and police blotter out of News and made it a primary category. Even though crime news is the highest in analytic s some readers complain because it ruins non violent news. Our readers and viewers prefer science, tech environmental and entertainment news. So crime news junkies now have your own bad news section here.


Cinvicted sex offender caught again



Convicted sex offender George Tiba taken into custody in California


Convicted sex offender George Tiba, who has eluded police since Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 when he failed to show up for the last day of his sex assault trial, has been taken into custody in San Francisco, CA. He is being held in the San Francisco County Jail, pending extradition to Boulder.

George Tiba was arrested in San Francisco.

George Tiba was arrested in San Francisco.


Authorities in San Francisco have worked with the Boulder Police Department since Boulder police detectives learned that Tiba might be in California. Tiba was taken into custody without incident. Further details of his arrest are not available.


Tiba was on trial last week for charges that included two counts of Sexual Assault, one count of Second Degree Burglary and one count of Theft. He was convicted of all charges on Friday, as the trial continued without him. The sex assault occurred in Boulder in February 2013.


The case number is 13-2212.


Anyone with information about George Tiba is asked to contact Detective Scott Sloan at 303-441-4484.

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Alleged sex offender is on the run


Accused sex assault suspect fails to show up for court; warrant is issued for his arrest

Boulder police are looking for accused sex assault suspect George Osonau Tiba (DOB 1/5/1965) after he failed to appear for court this morning, Dec. 13, 2013. Tiba is being tried in Boulder District Court on charges that include Sex Assault (two counts), Second Degree Burglary and Theft.

Today was scheduled to be the final day of Tiba’s trial. A no-bond warrant has been issued for his arrest.

George Tiba failed to show up for his trial

George Tiba failed to show up for his trial

Tiba is accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old female he had met at a downtown bar on Feb. 17, 2013. The assault occurred at the victim’s home on 11th St. The victim told police that Tiba stole cash and other items from her home after the assault.

Police are actively trying to locate George Tiba, who is African-American, 5’11”, 214 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a black 2006 Chrysler 300 with Colorado license plate 372-WZW. Tiba has been known to use the alias “Jojo George”. He speaks with an accent and often tells people he is from Jamaica, but he is from Uganda. He has been known to be violent toward women, and women have filed protection orders against him in the past.

This case number is 13-2212.

Anyone who sees George Tiba is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately. Anyone with information or tips about Tiba or his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Scott Sloan at 303-441-4484 or Detective Jack Gardner at 303-441-1851. The Boulder Police Department’s Tip Line is 303-441-1975. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.


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Witnesses to assault at Boulder Theater are sought




Boulder police are looking for witnesses to an assault which occurred during the DeVotchka concert at the Boulder Theater (2032 14th St.) on Nov. 1, 2013.


On Nov. 2, 2013 a 34-year-old woman told police that she and another female attendee had “bickered” because the victim’s jacket had been bumping into the female attendee. The victim told police she and her friend had decided to walk away from the situation but began arguing again with the female after the female’s boyfriend made a comment they didn’t like.



The victim says the female concertgoer “shoved her backwards” and that she shoved the concertgoer back. At this point, the victim says she was grabbed from behind and then an unknown male punched her in the nose and disappeared. The victim’s nose was broken.


Police are trying to identify the suspect who punched the victim in the face and have few leads in the case. The victim described the suspect as a white male, about 5’9” tall with a brown hair and a brown beard. He wore a button down shirt and wire-rimmed glasses.  The victim’s friend says the male was 6’2” tall with brown hair and a “fake” beard. She said he was wearing a costume that reminded her of a European security guard.


The case number is 13-14745.


Detectives would like to speak to anyone who remembers the altercation as they attempt to identify the assault suspect. Detective Heather Frey is the lead investigator on the case and she may be reached at 303-441-3369. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.



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Underage drinkers with outstanding warrants targeted


Police to conduct warrant sweep for underage drinkers

This Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, Boulder police will be arresting people who have failure to appear or failure to comply warrants in connection with minor in possession of alcohol cases.

underage drinkers2

Defendants who would like to clear up their outstanding warrants prior to arrest are strongly encouraged to turn themselves in this week to the Boulder Police Department, 1805 33rd Street in Boulder, or to contact municipal court.

During a warrant sweep, officers may search for defendants at any known points of contact. These could include homes, schools and places of employment. An arrest on this type of warrant will require booking at the Boulder County Jail.

People who are unsure about whether there is a warrant for their arrest can contact municipal court at 303-441-3030 for additional information.


bike lock

High-end bike theft ring being investigated





The Boulder Police Department is investigating a series of high-end bicycle thefts dating back to early 2013. Police are aware of numerous stolen road and mountain bikes. At this time, none of the bicycles has been recovered. Although the thefts occurred in Boulder, the victims are nationwide, as many were visiting Boulder during the spring and summer months.


Investigators believe the thefts are related based on the pattern (modus operandi) of the suspect. The majority of the bikes were attached to vehicles either by a roof mount, a hitch rack or a rack mounted in truck beds. The thief or thieves used bolt cutters and/or wire cutters to defeat cable and u-locks to remove the bicycles from vehicles which were parked on downtown streets and parking garages, and from neighborhoods like Goss Grove and Frasier Meadows.

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During the course of the investigation, detectives have recovered dozens of bike accessories that include:


·         Pumps

·         Tools

·         Saddle bags

·         Cyclometer

·         Other generic bike accessories

Photos of many of the recovered accessories are attached and detectives would like to communicate with anyone who may recognize the items and/or who has had a bicycle stolen in the manner and from locations mentioned above. Anyone who has been assigned a current case file number is asked to provide that information to police when calling.


Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective Craig Beckjord at or 303-441-3336. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.


A French bulldog

Boyfriend faces felony charge in fatal animal cruelty case


The boyfriend of a woman who faces charges of Cruelty to Animals in connection with a severely injured puppy is now facing his own charge of felony Cruelty to Animals.

Twenty-four-year-old Andrew Etzler (DOB 9/11/1989) turned himself in today, Dec. 6, 2013 at the Boulder County Jail after an investigation by the Boulder Police Department’s Animal Control Unit. Animal Control officers believe Etzler strangled an eight-week-old French bulldog puppy named Genji. Genji died of his injuries. He belonged to Etzler’s girlfriend, Caitlin Brook Lesko (DOB 11/11/1989), who was arrested last month on separate Cruelty to Animals charges involving a different puppy named Bamboo.

A French bulldog

A French bulldog

A local veterinarian told police that Etzler brought Genji to the clinic on July 10, 2013. The puppy was unconscious and according to the vet, appeared to have been strangled. The veterinarian told police the injuries were consistent with severe strangulation. Genji died of injuries on July 11, 2013.

Etzler denied strangling the puppy, but he did appear to have become frustrated and angry that the puppy had urinated and defecated in his bed. He told the vet he had showered the puppy twice (once in cold water) to wash him off. The vet told police Etzler was very “jittery” and “agitated” during the visit, and that he appeared to be on some kind of drugs. The vet felt threatened by Etzler’s unstable behavior.

Etzler is romantically involved with Caitlin Lesko, who was charged last month with two counts of Cruelty to Animals (one felony and one misdemeanor) in connection with a different French bulldog puppy, Bamboo, which suffered from burns and two broken legs. Bamboo was treated for his injuries and has been adopted by a new family.

Boulder police discovered Genji’s death and Etzler’s potential involvement in it during the investigation of Lesko’s case involving Bamboo.

Lesko’s case number is 13-14513. Etzler’s case number is 13-15832.

Anyone with information about either of these cases is asked to contact Animal Control Supervisor Janee Boswell at 303-441-4385. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.


warning siren

Campus Alerts system gets a test Friday


The University of Colorado Boulder will test the Campus Alerts system on Friday, Dec. 6, at noon to raise awareness of how the campus community will be notified in case of a campus emergency. The test will include text messages, emails, social media and website announcements. Annual testing of emergency notification systems is required by the Clery Act, a federal law.

“As we saw during the recent floods, emergencies can happen quickly and without warning,” said Stuart Pike, CU-Boulder emergency management director. “The Campus Alerts system is our most effective means of communicating key safety messages to the campus community. It’s important for students, faculty and staff to be aware of this critical messaging platform.”


If the emergency involves a threat to personal safety or a campus closure, a campus alert will be sent using one or all of the communication methods available. Text messaging is the backbone of the system as it reaches the most individuals in the least amount of time.

More than 90 percent of CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff are registered for the Campus Alerts system and over 90 percent of those have at least one mobile device registered, according to Pike.

During an emergency that affects the campus, critical updates, additional details, and any necessary instructions regarding the nature of the emergency will be posted at, university social media sites, and on the campus Emergency Information Line at 303-492-4636 (303-492-INFO).

Active CU-Boulder student email addresses ( are automatically registered and the university encourages students to add mobile phone numbers in order to receive text notifications as well. Faculty, staff, or affiliates of the CU-Boulder community with an (or, or e-mail address are encouraged to register on a voluntary basis. Additional information is available at

Details on the decision process for determining a closure, how administrative leave should be handled for essential personnel and other employees, and answers to questions that frequently arise are covered in “Campus Closing Procedures During Emergencies” located at

Any user who expected to receive an alert and didn’t, or who needs help signing up for the system, should call the IT Service Center at 303-735-HELP or email

Boulder County Sheriff Badge

Thanksgiving dinner ends in physical altercation


BOULDER COUNTY- At approximately 5:00 p.m. Boulder County Communications received a 911 call reporting a stabbing in the area of West Magnolia, unincorporated Boulder County.  Two local transients invited a third to join them for Thanksgiving dinner.  The group’s conversation spiraled into a disagreement and physical altercation.  The invited guest picked up a kitchen knife and threatened 34 year old Brendan Hayes, who put up his hands to defend himself.  The invited guest slashed Brendan’s hands several times.  The invited guest left the area prior to Deputies arriving.


Brendan was transported by Pridemark Ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital where he was treated for cuts on his hands.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5’ 8”- 5’10” tall.  He had brown hair and a slender to medium build.  He was wearing blue jeans and a dark hooded sweatshirt.  He fled the area in a faded yellow four door sedan.  This incident is recorded under Boulder County Sheriff’s Office case number 13-6408

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office at 303-441-4444.

Commander Heidi Prentup
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office


Boulder police: More info on officer-involved shooting


The suspect was wearing paint-ball type body armor, camouflage clothes and Uggs furry boots. He reportedly carried a large knife when approaching officers. 

The Boulder Police Department today is releasing additional details about an officer-involved fatal shooting that occurred on Sunday, November 24th at approximately 12:46 pm.

On 11/24/2013 at approximately 7:30 am, officers were dispatched to a potential domestic situation at 3009 Madison, apartment J208, Boulder, Colorado.  Upon arrival, officers contacted the victim, 41 year old Kirsten Stenseng, outside of the apartment.  It was the victim’s mother who had called police, concerned over the welfare of her daughter.  However, Stenseng advised the officers that nothing had happened between her and her boyfriend (suspect).  Officers attempted to contact the suspect, but no one would answer the door to the apartment.  Stenseng stated that she was leaving and officers observed her drive from the scene.  Other than a restraining order violation, officers did not have probable cause to believe any other crime had occurred.   The suspect could be charged with the restraining order violation at a later time.

At one time, the suspect had two hunting. assault style knives.

At one time, the suspect had two hunting. assault style knives.

On the same date at approximately 12:30 pm, the department received a call from a neighbor claiming the suspect had been yelling and throwing things outside the apartment.  The caller also observed the suspect with a large knife stabbing a wooden post outside the apartment.  The manner in which the suspect was yelling led the caller to believe the victim was in the apartment.  He was therefore concerned for her safety.

Officers were dispatched to the scene.  Upon arrival, responding officers were unable to locate anyone outside the apartment.  They could not find the victim, but did locate her vehicle, a gold Cadillac, which was back in the parking lot outside the apartment.  Based on information from the caller, and the fact that victim’s car was in the parking lot, the officers had reason to believe the victim was in the apartment and may be in danger.

Officers put together an entry team of four officers and attempted to make contact at the apartment.  After several tries and not getting a response, the decision was made to forcibly open the door to check on persons inside.  Soon after getting the door opened, but prior to getting inside, officers observed the male suspect start to run toward the door with a knife in each hand.  Several commands to “get down” and possibly “drop the knife” were given to the suspect.  The suspect quickly ran toward the officers while holding the knives in a high position.  One officer had to deflect the suspect with a ballistic shield as he ran past him and toward Officer Vincent Gallerani.  Officer Gallerani was unable to retreat before the suspect was upon him.  Thinking the first officer had been injured and he was about to be stabbed, Officer Gallerani fired three shots at very close range, striking the suspect at least two times.  The suspect immediately fell while still holding the knives.  The first officer then kicked the knives out of the suspect’s hands.  See attached photos.

After the shooting, it was learned that Stenseng was safe in a nearby apartment with another resident.  No one else was located in the suspect’s apartment.

The rifle used in the shooting was a Heckler and Kock (HK), model 416, .223 caliber rifle.  It is a department owned SWAT issued rifle.

During the follow-up investigation, threatening comments directed at Stenseng were found posted on social media by the suspect.  One comment indicated that he would kill Stenseng.

The suspect was a 42 year old white male wearing a black t-shirt, khaki pants, and body armor, the type one might wear for dirt bike riding or paint ball games.  He had shoulder pads and a breast pad, elbow pads, and shin guards on.  He was also wearing furry Ugg boots.  Suspect was later pronounced dead at the hospital.  We are withholding the suspect’s name until released by the Coroner’s office.

“It is always unfortunate when an officer has to use deadly force and it is a very emotional experience for any officer who is put in this situation,” stated Police Chief Mark Beckner.  “We are very thankful none of our officers were injured by this attack.  Additionally, our condolences go out to the suspect’s family for their loss.  From what we know right now, it appears as though the officers took reasonable measures to protect everyone’s safety, but were forced into a very difficult and life threatening situation.”

The officer who fired the shots is Officer Vincent Gallerani, a 14 year veteran of the department.  Officer Gallerani is a team leader on the department’s SWAT team and well trained in officer safety and entry techniques.  Officer Gallerani received a Chief’s Commendation earlier this year for his role in successfully handling an incident at the police department involving an individual who appeared might have an explosive device.

The officer who used a shield to defend himself from attack is Officer Nick Smetzer, a 12 year veteran and also a member of the SWAT team.  Other officers in the immediate area at the time of the shooting were Officer Ryan Lord, a 13 year veteran, and Officer Jenny Paddock, also a 17 year veteran of the department.

The Boulder County Investigative Team is continuing the investigation and will present its results to the Boulder County District Attorney once completed.  Officer Gallerani will remain on paid leave pending the completion of the investigation.


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Police shooting being investigated


The Boulder County Investigation Team is investigating a fatal shooting after a Boulder police officer shot a suspect during a disturbance in an apartment building at 3009 Madison St. earlier today.


Boulder officers responded to a call at 12:30 p.m. from a neighbor who reported that a man, armed with a knife and a machete, was making threatening remarks and stabbing a post outside his apartment. When officers arrived, no one was outside. They knocked on the door of the apartment where the suspect lives. When they got no response, they forced the door open. A male suspect jumped out from near the doorway and came toward the first responding officer with a knife in each of his hands. Preliminary reports are that the officer ordered him to get down. When the suspect did not, the officer fired his rifle twice.


The suspect was transported to Boulder Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


The officer, a 14-year veteran of the Boulder Police Department, was uninjured. He will be placed on administrative leave with pay, pursuant to departmental policy in these types of incidents. Several other officers witnessed the shooting.


Neither the suspect nor the officer is being identified at this time, as officers are working to notify their families.


The Boulder County Investigation Team is staffed by investigators from a variety of Boulder County law enforcement agencies. The team is responsible for conducting unbiased, objective investigations in cases when officers use deadly force or other incidents involving in-custody deaths.


Officer-involved shootings are unusual in Boulder. The last incident of this type involving Boulder police was in 2008 when a SWAT officer shot and killed a man who said he was wearing a bomb and threatened to detonate it inside Boulder Community Hospital.


Additional information will be released as it becomes available.




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