RAWLINS — A Colorado man has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery after allegedly firing a gun at another man inside a Rawlins motel.
Craig, Colo. resident Ernesto Garcia-Luna, also known as Giovanni Marquez and Giovanni Galan-Marquez, is charged with: one count of felony aggravated assault and battery by threatening to use a drawn deadly weapon on another, which comes with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000; reckless endangering, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a fine up to $750; misdemeanor possession of marijuana, with a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a fine up to $1,000; unauthorized use of a vehicle, with a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a fine up to $1,000; and wrongful taking or disposing of property, with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a fine up to $750.
His trial will be set within the next six months.
According to the arrest affidavit:
On Oct. 20, Rawlins police officer Matthew Harnisch was dispatched to the Quality Inn in response to a man who shot at the reporting party with a gun inside the hotel.
After arriving, Miguel Ramirez, the reporting party, told the officer that he was confronted by a Hispanic male in the hotel’s hallway. He said the male had a gun with a laser on it in his face. He turned around and ran out of the back of the hotel, when he heard the man fire a round toward him.
He described the suspect as a man with tattoos on his face and all over his head. The front desk clerk recognized those details and noted that the man was staying in one of the rooms.
Harnisch called for backup and asked the clerk if she’d heard a gunshot, to which she said no. He asked another male, Paul Allison, who employs Ramirez, and Allison said he hadn’t heard the shot, either. He added that Ramirez was hiding in a truck, terrified. He did say he saw a male fitting the suspect’s description only a few minutes prior to Harnisch’s arrival and that he was by a truck, but Allison didn’t know what the man was doing.
Once backup arrived, they went toward the room the suspect was in. Harnisch called the room to contact the suspect, whose last name was Marquez, he was told. When he answered the phone, Harnisch told him to come out of the room with his hands up. He complied.
After the suspect was frisked and taken downstairs, he was identified as Giovanni Galan-Marquez. A woman in the room, Mariah Gomez, was arrested after the officers discovered she had an active warrant. Another officer told Harnisch that he could smell marijuana inside the hotel room.
The officers searched the room and found a glass pipe with marjuana residue in it and a small scale. They discovered a woman’s coin purse and when opened, they found several small clear baggies, rubber bands, a spoon and a baggie with clear pill capsules filled with a brown sand texture substance inside of them.
The suspect was asked if the coin purse was his, which he denied, but he did admit that the pipe was.
When asked if his truck could be searched, the suspect seemed hesitant and told the officers that it wasn’t his to give permission to search, adding that his “tool pusher” also has control of the truck. He noted that numerous people used the truck, as it was the most-used in the fleet, adding he didn’t know what was in it.
A K9 unit was deployed and the dog gave indication that there were drugs in the truck. The suspect gave officers permission to search the truck. They found two syringes in a container, but noted that they didn’t look as if they’d been used. A Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol was found inside of a gun case in the truck. The serial number was checked and it was discovered that the pistol had been stolen from Colorado. Another firearm was discovered, which had a silver slide with a laser pointer attached to it. It wasn’t found to be stolen.
Ramirez told police he didn’t know why the suspect pulled a gun on him and recalled the firearm was either silver or tan. Allison talked with police again and said he did remember a gunshot being fired, but didn’t see anything.
When talking with police, the suspect told them he knew about both guns in the truck. He said he bought the silver one from a friend in Colorado, but wasn’t aware it was stolen. He added that he’d fired another round from the silver gun toward the apartments behind Quality Inn following his confrontation with Ramirez. He said he drew the gun on Ramirez because the man was “messing” with him and the suspect thought Ramirez was going to do something.
After talking with the owner of the truck, they informed police that the suspect wasn’t given permission to use the vehicle and that it should have been in Craig, Colorado. The suspect was then arrested and charged with numerous counts.
Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.