BRECKENRIDGE, Colo — A Loveland man has pleaded guilty to an assault on a police officer from earlier this year that resulted in him being shot in the arm, according to the Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office.
Derek Baker, 34, pleaded guilty Monday in Summit County District Court to second-degree assault on a peace officer – a class 4 felony. The charge stems from an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Jan. 14, 2019 in Frisco.
Police said Baker was acting erratically at the Whole Foods store around 7:30 p.m. that night. When they responded, Baker allegedly threatened officers with his car.
One officer fired at Derek Baker and struck him in the arm, police said. Baker was evaluated at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and then released into police custody. The officer was not injured.
9NEWS spoke with his sister Brittany Baker after the incident. She said she did not blame police for what happened, and that she understands the officer had to make a split-second decision. But she wanted to offer more context about her brother.
“In 2005, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic. In 2006 they added rapid cycling bipolar,” she said.
Brittany Baker said her brother has experienced homelessness and previous incarceration during his mental health struggles. She said he has been admitted to several hospitals in the past.
Baker has a criminal history dating back to 2005, according to a report from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“The life of a police officer is one of danger and risk,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said. “Defendant Baker threatened the life of a police officer but has accepted responsibility for his actions. Hopefully, the help that defendant needs in order to get his life back on track can be received through the ultimate sentence.”
"The incident is another sad chapter about the dangerousness that can accompany mental health challenges and a continuing need to find ways to help people before they present risk of harm to others.”
Baker faces between 4 and 12 years in prison, but is eligible for probation, according to the DA’s office. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 26 at 3 p.m.
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