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Affidavit: Denver officer used patrol car to hit man approaching officers with machete

A man with a machete was approaching two Denver Police officers when another officer arrived and hit the suspect with his vehicle, according to an affidavit.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

DENVER — A man with a machete was arrested Thursday morning after being hit by a police officer's patrol car, according to an affidavit released by the Denver Police Department (DPD).

According to the affidavit, a Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) officer reported eating his breakfast in the parking lot of the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center at 10900 Smith Road around 3:45 a.m. when an unknown man approached his car with a machete raised above his head.

The DOC officer was able to drive away and call 911, the affidavit says.

Two DPD officers arrived around 3:53 a.m., saw a man with a machete walking east on Smith Road, activated their lights and exited their vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit says one officer was standing next to the driver side of the vehicle, while the second officer approached the suspect from the passenger side.

One of the officers drew their weapon and ordered the suspect to drop the machete, the affidavit says, and when the suspect turned around, he dropped his backpack and began walking towards the officer on the driver side.

An officer continued to give commands to the suspect, who kept walking towards the officer on the driver side, the affidavit says.

A third officer who was responding to the scene as backup reported hearing one of the initial officers make contact with the suspect over the radio, according to the affidavit.

As the third officer pulled within four or five car lengths behind the initial responding officers, they saw the suspect with the machete in his right hand aggressively approaching one of the other officers, the affidavit says.

Believing the officer could have been attacked and killed by the suspect, the affidavit says, the third officer decided to accelerate and hit the suspect with his vehicle.

The suspect fell into a ditch on the south side of the road after being hit with the front end of the third officer's car, the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, officers called for medical assistance and detained the suspect and discovered the 17-inch machete, along with suspected meth and a pipe inside the suspect's backpack.

The suspect identified himself as Jose Alfredo Vargas-Calix, and provided a birthdate in August of 1985, according to the affidavit. 

However, the affidavit says Denver Sheriff Department deputies had booking and fingerprint information identifying the suspect as Santos Evelio-Banegas with a July 1985 birthdate.

The officer that hit the suspect with their vehicle has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, according to DPD.

Evelio-Banegas is being held without bond and faces a charge for first degree assault with a deadly weapon with intent to cause serious bodily harm, according to the DSD's website.

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