Prank may 
land man 
in prison

Patricio Preciado

A man who said he pointed a toy handgun in the face of a police officer as a Halloween prank may end up in prison over it.

Patricio Preciado, 29, faces anything from probation to six years in prison after pleading guilty to menacing Thursday in the courtroom of District Judge Brian Flynn.

“I’m ready to move on ... take responsibility for my actions,” Preciado told the judge.

The District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss a charge of attempted aggravated robbery. Flynn didn’t hint at whether he’ll accept the plea agreement.

Preciado’s actions in downtown Grand Junction last fall have already earned a label of “felony stupid” from District Attorney Pete Hautzinger.

An arrest affidavit said Grand Junction police officer Cody Kennedy was walking on Main Street in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2013, when he came across Preciado, who pulled a toy handgun and demanded money. The affidavit said Kennedy stepped to his side and drew his gun, prompting Preciado to laugh, saying, “I’m just kidding. It’s a toy gun.”

“I told him it wasn’t funny and that I had almost shot him,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Kennedy’s restraint was recognized in December by Police Chief John Camper in an official commendation.

Preciado has four prior felony convictions, including cases in 2009 and 2010 in Mesa County for criminal impersonation. He was also convicted in Pitkin County in 2001 for possession of a controlled substance and menacing. Preciado has nine prior misdemeanor or petty offense convictions, Flynn said.

Preciado is scheduled for sentencing June 27.


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