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Hikers at Bear Creek Lake Park held at gunpoint; suspect in custody

The two victims told investigators that they know the suspect, who disguised himself and put a nylon leash around one of the victims' necks, authorities said.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Two hikers who were held at gunpoint on a trail in Bear Creek Lake Park on Friday morning told investigators that they knew their assailant, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).

The suspect, identified as Kerry Endsley, 73, has a history of harassing the female victim, according to JCSO. Police reports and a restraining order reflected that, the sheriff's office said.

Endsley was on probation after pleading guilty to harassment from a September 2021 incident, according to court records.

Jacki Kelley, a spokesperson with JCSO, said that about 8:10 a.m., they received a 911 call from a hiker who saw a couple being held at gunpoint along the trail.

Deputies learned that a husband and wife were hiking on the trail when they passed a man who was tying his shoes. The victims later told investigators that they didn't immediately recognize Endsley because he had disguised himself, according to the sheriff's office.

Once they passed the man, he confronted them with a gun, Kelley said.

The witness said that the couple and the man had some kind of verbal exchange. The man put a nylon leash around the woman's neck and was leading them away from the trail at gunpoint, JSCO said.

While this was happening, the witness was on the phone with dispatchers. Kelley said the husband was able to get the gun away from the man, and that was when deputies arrived at the scene.

When deputies arrived, people began running around, Kelley said. 

JCSO confronted who they thought were the assailants and took them into custody, but they were actually the victims, Kelley said. 

Deputies continued to look for a suspect and found him on the trail. They surrounded him at gunpoint after he pulled out a weapon, which ended up being a stun gun, JCSO said.

One of the deputies fired a round at the suspect, who was not hit. Another deputy used a Taser on the suspect, and deputies were able to arrest him and take him into custody, Kelley said.

She said the suspect was taken to a hospital after complaining of injuries from the Taser. 

Endsley was held on suspicion of:

  • Second-degree kidnapping
  • Felony menacing
  • Violation of a restraining order

The 1st Judicial District Attorney's Critical Incident Response Team was conducting the investigation into the officer firing his weapon.

Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Kerry Endsley

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