A Colorado State football player was one of two men ordered to the ground and held at gunpoint on Thursday in an apparent case of mistaken identity that resulted in the man holding the gun now facing felony charges.
According to TV station KUSA in Denver, a man in Loveland, Colo., called police to report two men wearing masks were in his neighbourhood, and that he was armed and was going to confront them as he believed they were members of the protest movement Antifa. Loveland Police Lt. Bob Shaffer told KUSA that when police showed up to the scene around 6 p.m., they encountered Scott Gudmundsen dressed in fatigues and holding two men on the ground at gunpoint.
Once there, however, police determined that the two men were employees for a roofing company, “canvassing the neighbourhood because of the recent hail storms,” Shaffer told KUSA.
The men were wearing surgical-style masks in following coronavirus protocols, along with blue polo shirts with the roofing company’s name on them. Police determined the two men were not a threat, according to the report, and arrested Gudmundsen.
According to Larimer County jail records, Loveland PD booked Scott Austin Gudmundsen, 65, on two counts each of felony menacing and false imprisonment early Thursday night.
According to KUSA and ESPN, a letter signed by CSU president Joyce McConnell, athletic director Joe Parker and football coach Steve Addazio was sent to the CSU community on Friday. The letter read, in part:
“Last night in the course of performing duties associated with his summer job in Loveland, a CSU football student-athlete was threatened with a gun, forced to the ground, and held there — along with his co-worker — against his will. The perpetrator called the police to the scene; when they arrived, they quickly evaluated the situation and arrested the perpetrator.
“Our student is a young man of color, while the perpetrator is white. Regardless of what investigators learn or reasons the perpetrator gives, we know this: Our student got up Thursday morning, worked out with his team, then showered, dressed, and went to work. Hours later, he was facing a stranger with a gun and hearing police sirens that had been inexplicably called on him. Given what we have seen happening in cities across this county, we know all too well that this encounter could have proceeded very differently. …
“We have been in touch with this student and his family and can reassure our community that both the student and his co-worker are physically unharmed and safe. Mentally and emotionally, the student and his family are drawing on tremendous reserves of resilience, but nonetheless recognize that this was a horrific experience.”
KUSA reported the football player is 20 years old and the co-worker 27.
A man claiming to be Gudmundsen’s son told KUSA via email that his father is ill and undergoing treatment at a mental health facility.
“Our sincerest thoughts go out to the two salesmen and we apologize to them and their families for the actions of our father and wish them well,” Stanley Gudmundsen wrote.
Protests have broken out throughout the country and around the world following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed May 25 when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes while making an arrest.