Trooper Shannon Schwanke
On October 23, 2005 Trooper Shannon Schwanke was involved in an incident in which he disarmed a dangerous and combative subject after a serious injury crash. The subject fled the scene on foot, but was later apprehended without incident. The subsequent search for the subject resulted in at least 15 arrests for charges ranging from weapons violations to felony drug possession.
While on patrol in Boulder County at the north end of Longmont, Trooper Schwanke observed a maroon pickup run a stop sign, at which point he followed the vehicle. The pickup began to driver erratically and then ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed and collided with another vehicle at the intersection of 23rd and Colyer Street in Longmont. Trooper Schwanke arrived on scene just as the vehicles came to rest. Two paramedics witnessed the crash and immediately began caring for the driver and passenger of the second vehicle, who were critically injured. Trooper Schwanke immediately began care for the driver of the pickup who had lacerated his head. The driver became combative and attempted to pull a gun on Trooper Schwanke. Trooper Schwanke then jumped on the driver inside the cab and wrestled the gun away, while simultaneously drawing his weapon, backing away and ordering the subject out of the vehicle. The subject began to comply, but then fled on foot. The Longmont SWAT was activated and a perimeter was established, but the subject was not located. While conducting a search of the pickup, over $13,000 (87 grams) of methamphetamine was found.
Over the next several days numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol, Nebraska State Patrol, Longmont Police Department, ATF, and Fort Collins Police worked together to locate the subject. During this effort, at least 15 arrests were made in Northern Colorado. On November 2, 2005 the subject was arrested without incident in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Trooper Schwanke is commended for his disarming of a combative subject and his restraint during a volatile situation.