Jackson police officers are investigating an incident involving an off-duty Colorado officer who pulled her gun on a teen who was running to a bus stop.

The unusual incident happened just before noon Friday near the corner of Snow King Avenue and Flat Creek Drive.

After receiving a report of a possible armed robbery, multiple officers rushed to the scene where a woman was holding a young man on the ground at gunpoint.

“She was driving by and heard a loud noise and thought something was suspicious and got out to check it out,” Jackson Police Lt. Roger Schultz said.

“Then she saw someone running from the scene, and she believed a crime was taking place and intervened and called law enforcement. She held who she believed to be a suspect of a crime until we arrived.”

But after questioning the people involved and other witnesses, officers decided the whole thing was a misunderstanding and that the woman, who happens to be an off-duty police officer from Colorado, may have overreacted.

The 17-year-old said he was running from his house to the bus stop after forgetting his phone charger, reports state.

“This kid wasn’t actually committing a crime,” Schultz said.

Now police are trying to decide if the 31-year-old off-duty cop overstepped her bounds enough to be charged with a crime.

“Wyoming law allows for a citizen’s arrest but only under limited circumstances,” Schultz said.

The woman’s authority to arrest people in Colorado doesn’t give her the right to act as an officer in Wyoming, Schultz said, unless a felony is committed in her presence or if death is likely.

“If I go to Cheyenne, I have no authority there to contact someone for theft or burglary or speeding,” Schultz said.

“When you leave your jurisdiction or state, you need to act as a private citizen,” he said.

Another exception is if an officer is specially deputized by the sheriff’s office where their assistance is requested.

It’s believed the off-duty Colorado officer was here vacationing.

She hasn’t been charged with a crime.

“We’ve already interviewed and released her,” Schultz said. “We don’t feel like she’s a threat to the public.”

But police are still investigating the circumstances, and charges are possible.

“If she has overstepped, the likely charges would be aggravated assault, which comes into play because of the weapon involved,” Schultz said. “The second charge would be felonious restraint.”

While it’s legal for a citizen to make an arrest under certain circumstances in Wyoming, it isn’t encouraged.

“I don’t recommend the public or private persons make citizen’s arrests,” Schultz said.

“It’s generally ill-advised and dangerous for them to do. They should allow police officers who are trained to handle those situations,” he said.

The woman’s name was not available for release by press time.

The 17-year-old, although found to be wrongly targeted, was cited for possession of a controlled substance.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066, courts@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGcourts.

(11) comments

Jordan Wilsted

This off-duty cop should without a doubt be charged with aggravated assault. For the JHPD to give this kid a possession ticket is truly pathetic. A women holds a high school student at gunpoint for 10 minutes and walks away unscathed while a kid running for the bus now has to explain to colleges why he has a possession charge on his record. This kid deserves an apology fro the police department and this out-of-line vigilante crime fighter.

Terry Milan

All right Annie Oakley. Welcome to Jackson and the wild west.

Julian gurbis

they should have put the bracelets on her.

Julian gurbis

They Should Have Put The Bracelets on Her

Kahuna Makemakika

"We don’t feel like she’s a threat to the public." Really? Pulled a gun for no good or legal reason. Threatened to shoot for no good or legal reason. Arrest this undisciplined citizen. Press charges.

Tim Rieser

And then they arrest the kid for having some weed anyway. Are you kidding me? That has to be a joke. What is wrong with these people? Take the weed and apologize to the kid on behalf of the amped-up fellow officer.

Jim Bristol

I have a better idea, take her gun, and give the kid his weed.

Jeffrey Walker

I don’t think you are stating the facts. He was given a ticket, not arrested.

keith romer

After thirty years in Fire Rescue in a large metro area. We faced every threat that the police face. But are not armed. It seems that the only answer for the police is a firearm. Many times I had to step in where they have escalated a situation and creating a dangerous situation that was resolved without firing a bullet. It seems they do not understands the limitations of there weapon and consequences. And few know how to handle a situation physically. Punching someone seldom makes someone submit. I have trained with police and trained them. Many are taken over by the culture of it is us against them , them being the enemy The inability of humans to look beyond who we are and to question the questions in life.

Annette Osnos

I had just pulled into the recycling area when I heard and saw a civilian pointing her gun at a teenager who was lying on his stomach. I heard him saying "I don't know what I did" and the civilian saying "Stay down. I have a gun and will shoot". It was horrifying to watch and I started screaming for her to put her gun down. It showed me just how quickly someone can lose their life.
Now that I know the story, I am angry at the off-duty cop. I thought maybe there was a back story but I think it is #walkingwhileateenager.

Reid Phifer

This is a prime example of police officer overstepping their authority. An investigation of this is a joke! This off duty cop should be in jail for aggravated assault and felonious restraint, but clearly we have cops protecting cops. Investigation? Please. This is a complete abuse of power all the way around including the off duty Colorado cop, as well as the officers that responded. They all need to be held accountable. This young teen has rights. 4th amendment for 1. All citizens of this town should be incensed, and the prosecuting attorney needs to bring charges against this Colorado fuzz ball. Unbelievable!

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