By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — A man was arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment and arson after firing a flare gun into his car, which contained items soaked with gasoline outside a Denver police station, authorities said Monday.
Nothing ignited but police were investigating whether Derick Smialek, 37, intended to trigger an explosion on Sunday, department spokesperson Christine Downs said.
It was not known if Smialek has as a lawyer representing him yet. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday but officials said during the virtual hearing that his appearance would be delayed because he was in surgery.
Sheriff’s department spokesperson Daria Serna said he was at Denver Health Medical Center but could not provide more information about why. The hospital did not respond to requests for comment about his condition.
Police said Smialek was not injured during his arrest.
According to a probable cause statement explaining why Smialek was arrested, police said surveillance cameras showed him at first pacing around his car parked outside the station before firing the flare gun. He also went into the station near downtown and made comments to officers, according to the document, but his statements were redacted.
Police said Smialek has several previous felony convictions which bar him from having weapons that can fire explosive cartridges, including a flair gun, so he was also being held on suspicion of being a previous offender in possession of a weapon.
According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, Smialik has been arrested and served time for crimes including third-degree assault, drug possession and motor vehicle theft.
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