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37-year-old man accused of purposely striking 3 officers during 3rd night of Denver protests

Anthony Knapp faces several charges after police said he intentionally drove his vehicle into officers, causing serious injury to three of them.

DENVER — A 37-year-old man is accused of using his car to intentionally strike three officers engaged with riot-control measures in Denver late Saturday night, according to a probable cause (PC) statement from the Denver Police Department (DPD).

Anthony Knapp faces several charges in relation to the incident, which the probable cause statement says caused serious bodily injury to all three officers. They are:

  • Three counts of first-degree assault.
  • Three counts of first-degree assault—extreme indifference
  • 11 counts of attempted first-degree assault
  • 11 counts of attempted first-degree assault—extreme indifference.

One civilian was also struck, and that person's condition was unknown, DPD said.

The three officers injured were in the 1500 block of Logan Street at 11:08 p.m. as part of coordinated crowd and riot control measures taking place in the downtown area. 

RELATED: Man arrested after 3 officers were hit by vehicle, seriously injured in Denver

That was the third night of protests in relation to the in-custody death of George Floyd taking place in Denver. The protests, which were peaceful during the day, turned into rioting at night and included fires, vandalism, graffiti and looting. Police on numerous occasions deployed tear gas and pepper spray to gain control of the crowd.

RELATED: Dumpster fires, vandalism in Denver during 3rd night of protests

The officers were standing next to a Denver Police Rapid Deployment Vehicle (RDV) — sometimes referred to as a SWAT van — when a black, 2017 Chevrolet Cruze traveling at a high rate of speed swerved toward the officers, according to the PC statement. 

The PC statement says the officers were struck and taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance — where it was later determined one had sustained a fractured leg and the other two sustained "substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of any part or organ of the body." Nine other officers were in "grave danger of being struck," and two officers had to flee to avoid being struck, the PC statement says.

The driver continued northbound on Logan Street, the PC statement says, and a witness told officers that the vehicle was traveling at about 65-70 mph and that the driver turned into the officers "with intention."

A subsequent investigation led detectives to an apartment building at 1025 Sherman St. in Denver, where they saw the Chevy Cruze with extensive front-end damage parked in a lot behind the building, the PC statement says.

The vehicle was registered to Knapp and an address inside the apartment building, according to the PC statement. Detectives learned from a female inside the apartment that, according to the PC statement, Knapp had borrowed her car to go to the store.

They located her vehicle and stopped it and contacted Knapp, where they ultimately asked him if he'd be willing to go to DPD headquarters voluntarily, which he agreed to, according to the PC statement.

Another witness who lives at the apartment building at 1025 Sherman St. said at about 9:20 p.m., she saw a male in the parking lot yelling about being maced and saw the man in a black Chevy Cruze subsequently leave the parking lot, the PC statement says.

An additional witness also saw a man coughing and sputtering in the parking lot and leave in a Chevy Cruze, the PC statement says.

Both witnesses also said the vehicle looked like it had front-end damage the following morning, the PC statement says.

A Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report shows Knapp's prior offenses include a few traffic violations.

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