Corporal Jack Desanti and Corporal David Batura
On June 4, 2004 the members of the Colorado State Patrol Granby Post received a call that an armored bulldozer was tearing down a concrete plant. Hearing the report, Corporal Dave Batura and Corporal Jack Desanti voluntarily responded to the scene to assist members of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. Almost immediately after leaving the safety of their patrol vehicle to take a defensive position at the concrete plant, Corporals Batura and Desanti were fired upon with a .50BMG semi-automatic assault weapon by the driver of the bulldozer. The homebuilt bulldozer was completely covered with two walls of ¾ inch armored plating, fortified with cement poured between the walls, with a total weight of 10,000 pounds. The dozer was equipped with the .50 caliber machine gun, 9mm machine gun, and a rifle, which extended out of the back, front, and side portals respectively.
Corporal Batura radioed in his position and began directing other units to the scene. Corporals Batura and Desanti, with no regard for their own safety, then assisted the Sheriff’s Officers by firing at portholes in the dozer with their M-14 rifles, attempting to stop the carnage. At one point, the driver then drove his bulldozer into a stack of concrete barriers that both Patrol and Grand County Officers were taking cover behind, attempting to push it down on them. After the driver finished tearing down the cement plant, he headed toward the town destroying a Grand County Sheriff’s vehicle in his path. As he continued on his road of destruction, he razed numerous vehicles and shot at propane tanks.
Several attempts were made to disable to bulldozer, including using an “Earth Mover” to block the path of the dozer, none successful.
After demolishing all except two other planned buildings, the bulldozer became high centered on a basement wall of the local hardware store. After trying unsuccessfully to dislodge the dozer, the driver then shut down his armored vehicle, and committed suicide.
While June 4, 2004 will mostly be remembered as a day of destruction in the Town of Granby, it should be remembered as a day when Corporal Batura and Corporal Desanti distinguished themselves by placing the lives of the citizens of Colorado above their own, preventing injury to innocent motorists, and helping to end a rampage.