Monday, August 2

Four People Arrested With An Arsenal In Denver Days Before All-Star Baseball Game | International


The facade of the Maven Hotel in downtown Denver, where four people with weapons were arrested on Friday.
The facade of the Maven Hotel in downtown Denver, where four people with weapons were arrested on Friday.David Zalubowski / AP

Denver (Colorado) police arrested four people, three men and one woman, staying in a downtown hotel with an arsenal in their possession on Friday night, July 9. A citizen complaint from a Maven hotel employee led officers to search two rooms, where they found 16 long weapons, body armor and more than 1,000 ammunition. City authorities believe the group was planning an attack like the one in Las Vegas in October 2017, when a shooter opened fire from a hotel on concert attendees, killing 61 people. The Maven is just 300 meters from Coors Stadium, where the All-Star game of the professional baseball league will take place on Tuesday. The FBI has so far denied that the incident is linked to domestic terrorism.

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Denver authorities reported this Sunday that the investigation was still open and is in its early stages. So far, the detainees are Richard Platt, 42; Gabriel Rodríguez, 48; Ricardo Rodríguez, 44, who is not related to Gabriel, and Kanoelehua Serikawa, 43. Both Platt and Serikawa had arrest warrants issued in other cities. The suspects face charges of illegal possession of weapons and a “significant” amount of drugs, according to what Paul Pazen, the Denver police chief, said at a press conference this Sunday, which was also attended by the mayor.

Pazen has indicated that so far “the reasons” that led this group to stay with an arsenal so close to a stadium are not known. Coors Field, home of the Rockies, has hosted tens of thousands of fans since the weekend in various activities, including a game of future talents, and that will have its great closing with the main game on Tuesday night. Anonymous sources cited by the local newspaper The Denver Post They noted that authorities feared an attack like the one in Las Vegas. One of the detainees had published a message on social networks where he spoke of a recent divorce and where he claimed to be willing to “go out big.”

At least one of the rooms, on the eighth floor, had a balcony that allowed an open angle to pedestrians traveling through downtown Denver. The police chief has said that the weapons and the suspects were in both rooms. Two vehicles owned by the detainees have also been seized. The police chief said he did not rule out that the group was planning a public attack. The officer added that this version must be confirmed or rejected by the investigations.

“We understand the community’s concern,” said the police chief this afternoon, saying that activities in the city center are safe. “We will work to make that happen,” said Pazen, who asked citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior. It was precisely this state of alert that led the staff of the Maven Hotel to call the authorities and report what they were seeing on the eighth floor. “At the moment, there is no threat to public safety linked to this case,” the authorities stressed.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, has reported this Sunday that it is aware of the arrests made in Denver and that it rules out a public threat. “We have no reason to believe that this incident is related to terrorism or a threat directed at the all-star game. We do not have any information of any threat to the events of the game, stadiums, players or the community at the moment, ”a spokeswoman reported in a message that has also been published on social networks.

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