By Lucas Vader
At around 8 p.m. last Tuesday, a man by the name of Ricardo Jesus Martinez was arrested for an incident encompassing the charges of attempted first degree murder, domestic violence, second degree assault, false imprisonment, arson, criminal attempt and crimes against at-risk persons.
The incident was in the jurisdiction of the Cedaredge Police Department and included an agency assist from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office.
The arrest report provided to the Delta County Combined Courts was prepared by Cedaredge Police Officer Monty McDermith, who was credited by the department chief, Joe Roberts, as having utilized “great interpersonal communication skills.”
In his report, McDermith stated that he responded to the 300 block of West Main Street, Cedaredge, for a report of a male subject standing at the corner of Northwest Third Street and West Main Street with a significant amount of blood on and around his head.
The man, later identified as Martinez, was allegedly bending over with his hands on his knees when McDermith came to him, and he was wearing a pair of shorts, no shoes or shirt.
“I exited the patrol car, and asked the subject what was going on,” McDermith said in the report. “The subject was vague and would not answer my question.”
When Martinez started walking east down Main Street, McDermith contacted dispatch for assistance and continued to follow Martinez and assure him that he was trying to help. McDermith asked for his name, which Martinez would not supply.
“The male party entered the street and I told him he has to leave the street area,” McDermith said. “I asked the male party to come to the side of the street and to relax.”
Delta County Sheriff Deputies Erik McArtor and Sergeant Ryan Artaz arrived to assist shortly after that point, as Delta County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) also responded to the scene.
While EMS personnel attended to wounds on the back of Martinez’s head, McDermith convinced Martinez to relax and let EMS help him. At that time, according to the report, Martinez revealed his name and claimed that he had sustained his injuries at the Cedaredge Town Park by slipping and falling off the dividing wall when trying to step up, hitting the back of his head in the process.
Martinez stated that he did not know where his shoes or shirt were, and when given a choice, he chose to be transported to the hospital in the ambulance on-scene. After a pat-down for weapons, which came out clean, Martinez was transported.
McDermith and the two assisting personnel from the sheriff’s office investigated the area of claimed injury at the park, finding no particular evidence of a fall.
At about 9:30 p.m., Deputy McArtor contacted McDermith and said there was allegedly further information on an incident involving Martinez from a person residing nearby.
The reporting person, a male party, said that Martinez had tried to burn a residence down with a female party allegedly tied up inside and that Martinez was armed with a gun, making the reporting party nervous to go over and help. The reporting party showed McDermith the text message conversation on his phone.
Ultimately, the reporting party did go to the nearby residence of the female party, where he smelled smoke before finding Martinez standing over the top of the female party. There was a fight during which Martinez’s head was injured before he ran from the scene.
The report of the female party involved in the incident matched, as McDermith went to the house and confirmed the smell of smoke, as well as burnt newspapers and unrecognizable clothing in the bathroom, where the fire ultimately remained contained.
After giving Martinez a ride to Cedaredge from Delta, the female party reported extreme paranoia from Martinez, leading to him claiming that he would burn her house down if she didn’t let him use her vehicle. This led to the incident which caused McDermith to ultimately locate Martinez on Main Street.
“At the conclusion of the investigation, Deputy Kevan Arreola responded to the Delta County Hospital Emergency Room, placed Ricardo in custody, and transported him [to] the Delta County Jail without incident,” McDermith reported.
The next afternoon, Cedaredge Police Chief Joe Roberts addressed the issue on Facebook in order to qualm rumors of the incident since the interaction between an injured Martinez and McDermith was witnessed by members of the public.
“That individual is currently in jail, there is not current threat to the public,” the Town of Cedaredge Police Department account said.