DENVER — A Colorado State Patrol (CSP) trooper has been charged with one count of felony menacing after he pointed his gun at a woman who was driving in downtown Denver while he was on duty, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.
The incident happened on Aug. 25 while Jay Hemphill, 49, was crossing 14th Street at Sherman Street. The victim reported that she was driving her truck in that area when a man pulled out a gun pointed it at her and began yelling, an affidavit for Hemphill's arrest says.
Hemphill himself also reported the incident to a sergeant with CSP who then notified Denver Police that Hemphill was the person they were looking for, according to the affidavit.
The incident was also captured on video and it clearly shows the suspect crossing south on East 14th Avenue just east of North Sherman Street when the victim starts to make a turn to go east on 14th Avenue, the affidavit says.
It then shows the suspect, later identified as Hemphill, cross in front of her truck and point a gun at her.
When later interviewed, the victim told police, "I was afraid I was going to get shot," the affidavit says.
Hemphill chose to voluntarily answer questions about the incident, but his comments are redacted from the affidavit.
CSP said as soon as they were made aware that Hemphill was suspected of a crime, he was placed on administrative leave.
The agency said that Hemphill joined the CSP in 1995 and has worked at the state Capitol in the Executive Security Unit since January 1998.
The governor's office provided the following statement regarding the incident and charges:
"Our State Patrol has the core values of honor, duty, and respect and they hold those values very high. They understand the need to ensure there is trust and confidence in law enforcement. Mr. Hemphill has dedicated his life to public service and protecting Coloradans. We’re will not comment any further as this is an ongoing investigation and would refer you to State Patrol for further details."
This is the second incident this year where a CSP trooper has been charged with felony menacing.
Wes Dakan was fired by CSP in June after details of the April incident came to light. He is accused of pointing a rifle at another person in a Subaru WRX at 10th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard just before noon on April 25.
Security footage from a nearby gas station appeared to show the altercation taking place, according to a Denver Police probable cause for arrest (PC) statement.
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