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Man found guilty of trying to blow up methanol tank, assaulting 3 officers

Stephen Garcia, 64, faces up to 96 years in prison for the 2019 incident near Mission Silo Park in Greeley.

GREELEY, Colo. — A Greeley man was convicted by a jury for assaulting three law enforcement officers while trying to up a methanol tank near a Greeley Park in 2019, the Weld County District Attorney's Office said on Monday.

Stephen Garcia, 64, faces 30 to 96 years in prison after being found guilty earlier this month of the following charges, according to the District Attorney's Office:

  • Three counts of first-degree assault
  • Criminal attempt to commit possession of an explosive or incendiary device
  • Reckless endangerment

On June 8, 2019, Weld County Sheriff's Office deputies, Colorado State Patrol troopers and Greeley Police Department officers responded to a call about a suspicious person at an active drilling site at 10611 Highway 257 in unincorporated Weld County, the DA's Office said. That's near the entrance of Mission Silo Park.

Credit: Weld County District Attorney's Office

RELATED: Affidavit: Suspect in Greeley officer-involved shooting attempted to ignite methanol tank

A worker reported seeing Garcia with a flare in his hand near tanks that potentially contained highly flammable and explosive gasses, and the DA's Office said a deputy reported seeing Garcia attempting to ignite the gasses in the tank.

The officer also said Garcia told the deputy that she needed to leave him alone because he was going to blow the tank up, which firefighters told responding law enforcement could have a blast radius up to a quarter mile, the DA's Office said. 

Officers fired bean bag rounds at Garcia after he continued to ignore verbal commands, and then an officer fired two gunshots into Garcia's jaw and chest while he continued trying to light the tank, the DA's Office said.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 11.

RELATED: Man arrested after officers say he tried to blow up vehicle outside Denver Police station

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