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Violent ‘gang member,’ sex offender accused of touching himself to kids at Colo. Springs park

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Colorado Springs Police (CSPD) describe 40-year-old David Dean as three things in court records obtained by KRDO13 Investigates: a registered sex offender, a gang member, and someone with an extensive criminal history.

Dean has been arrested by CSPD three times in the last eight months. Dean, who is a four-time convicted felon, has been in and out of prison since 2012 with multiple prior convictions for felony menacing and assault on a police officer.

On August 22, 2023, police responded to a Roadway Inn in east Colorado Springs to reports of a suspect who was "trying to fight people and was trying to stab people on scene," court records say. Police identified Dean as someone who was staying at the Rodeway Inn at the time and was seen on surveillance video fighting with other guests and employees.

One person said Dean "swung a knife at him three times." An employee of the Roadway Inn says she was punched in the face by Dean. He was arrested on attempted murder charges, but the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office charged him with attempted 1st-degree assault amongst other violent crimes.

Dean sat in jail for over three months before he was able to post a $10,000 bond using the help of a bondman, and was released from the El Paso County Jail on December 26, 2023. His bond was originally set at $100,000, but it was reduced to $10,000 on September 20 by El Paso County Magistrate Hilary Alice Perry Gurney. A spokesperson for Magistrate Gurney tells KRDO13 Investigates both the defense and the district attorney did not object to the lowering of Dean's bond.

Mugshot from Dean's 2023 arrest

Less than two months after his release, Colorado Springs Police were called to the Aspire Fillmore Apartments to reports of a shooting there. Multiple witnesses interviewed by officers reported seeing two suspects, one of whom shot twice at a person at an apartment there.

Through their investigation, CSPD linked Dean to the shooting through surveillance video from nearby apartments, one of which showed him on the second floor of the apartment complex firing a gun into an apartment. Court records allege the victim was not known to Dean and the alleged shooting was unprovoked.

Dean was arrested and charged with attempted 1st-degree murder, attempted assault, 1st-degree burglary, and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. He was given a $50,000 bond by El Paso County Magistrate Carissa Cruson.

On April 18, Dean posted the bond with the help of the same bondsman and was released from jail. The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office tells KRDO13 Investigates they made a lengthy argument regarding Dean's criminal history when the topic of his bond amount was discussed. A spokesperson for Magistrate Cruson said law enforcement, Dean's defense attorney, and the district attorney did not object to Dean's bond being set at $50,000. Nonetheless, his bond amount remained at $50,000 and he was released.

Mugshot from Dean's February 2024 arrest

A few short weeks later, on May 8, 2024, CSPD contacted a woman and her young child at the Helen Hunt Playground in Colorado Springs. The mother reported a black male was touching himself inappropriately while her child was playing at the playground. Through an investigation, CSPD determined Dean was the person who was allegedly pleasing himself at the playground.

He was charged with felony indecent exposure, a charge that is typically a misdemeanor but was a felony in this case because Dean had five prior convictions for indecent exposure in Colorado in the past. His bond in that case has been set at $10,000, which he has not posted and remains in the El Paso County Jail.

Mugshot from Dean's May 2024 arrest

"This one is particularly unique given the gravity of the offenses that are alleged and the final one that got him re-arrested. I wish I could tell your viewers that this is uncommon. It's not," former 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said.

Brauchler says these types of cases where repeat offenders re-offend while out on bond are becoming commonplace in Colorado's criminal justice system. He says each judicial district has a bond schedule that judges use to set bond amounts for the offense charge.

Below is the bond schedule for the 4th Judicial District, encompassing El Paso and Teller counties:

In each of these cases, the bond amounts set for Dean were within the recommendations from the bond schedule. In his last case, charged as a class-six felony, Magistrate Cruson set a bond amount at $10,000 which is ten times the maximum in the bond schedule.

However, Brauchler says more needs to be done to assess individuals to potentially set higher bond amounts given someone's criminal history and their pending charges allegedly committed while out on bond.

"For instance, on an attempted murder charge down in the 4th Judicial District, it's a $50,000 bond schedule. Well, that might make sense on a run-of-the-mill attempted murder. It makes a lot less sense when you have a guy who's on bond for another charge that's very similar and then who engages in more behavior that likely leads to the death of other human beings," Brauchler said.

Everyone charged with a crime in Colorado is eligible for a bond. Colorado law mandates judges and magistrates consider factors like community safety, the defendant's ability to post the bond, and ordering a bond amount that ensures the person charged returns to court for their mandatory hearings.

Brauchler, a former prosecutor, thinks community safety should be the primary concern they weigh when giving a bond amount.

"If someone demonstrates a certain recalcitrance or willingness to engage in criminal behavior on an ongoing basis, that whole reasonably make it to court language ought to go the way of the dodo, and we ought to be thinking about public safety," Brauchler said.

Colorado Springs Police issued the following statement on the bond issues for repeat offenders in the El Paso County community:

“The number one priority for the Colorado Springs Police Department is protecting the safety of our community. However, CSPD is concerned that the Colorado State Legislative trend of reducing crime classifications, bond conditions, and penalties for those who victimize our community will increase crime and ultimately make our community less safe. Appropriate bond conditions are intended to both secure a person’s appearance at their court dates and to protect our community from further victimization while the person awaits trial. More significant bond conditions are critical when a person has been arrested for a violent crime, when they have been arrested for multiple offenses, or when they have demonstrated through their prior behavior, that they will not voluntarily cease criminal activity. CSPD believes that appropriate bond conditions also protect victims of crime, who have no voice at initial bond hearings, and deter offenders from harassing or intimidating victims or committing additional crimes while out on monetary bond. Ultimately, appropriate bond conditions both better hold offenders accountable for their actions and assist our department in creating a safer community.” -- CSPD Spokesperson

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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