Four months after an off- duty Grand Junction police commander was ticketed for running over a 14-year-old girl in a crosswalk, Palisade police and court officials are still refusing to provide public records in the case.
Dave Arcady was issued a summons on Jan. 22 that charged him with violating a pedestrians' right of way in a crosswalk, a municipal offense, for the Jan. 17 incident.
The girl who was hit, now 15-year-old Nicole Bro, was hospitalized for a week after the accident and underwent surgery for a broken tibia, according to her father, Jeremy Bro. She has not been able to return to school since January because of the danger of re-injuring her broken leg.
Palisade police and court officials initially said the accident report would be released in the weeks after the incident, but they are now refusing to release it until the case is complete.
Palisade Police Chief Deb Funston said the decision came from the town's attorney, Angela Roff.
"(Releasing) it is kind of contrary to public interest, because it is such a high-profile case and because obviously the Grand Junction Police Department is well-known," Funston said. "We don't want to put a bunch of information out there, because then everybody knows and it can jeopardize the case and it ends up with somebody not having a fair trial if too many people know the details of the case."
The Grand Junction Police Department also conducted an internal investigation into the incident. Spokeswoman Heidi Davidson said Arcady "was exonerated" and there was no misconduct or policy violations.
Funston said charging the case through municipal court and not referring it to the District Attorney's Office is a choice that "can go either way."
"If we have charges that apply in municipal court a lot of times we chose to do that for a couple reasons," Funston said. "You want to keep things local and you don't want to compound the number of cases the District Attorney's Office and county court is facing. If we can handle it locally, we handle it locally. I'm sure that was also a big factor as to why we chose to go through our municipal court."
Funston said five months is not an unusual timeline for a municipal case, depending on the complexity.
Funston also said she is not concerned about public perception surrounding the case.
"I'm not worried about it because I know we've done a thorough job," she said. "We investigated and we felt we did what was the right thing, so I'm not worried about that at all."
The department got as much information as possible about the incident out to the public when it first happened, Funston said.
"You don't want to give the impression you're trying to hide anything and that has certainly not been the case here, there are just some dynamics that have taken a little bit longer," she said.