Yareni Rios-Gonzalez (2022)

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Woman handcuffed in police SUV hurt in train crash

On September 16, 2022, a 911 caller reported that a woman had been tailgating their vehicle and had displayed a gun. Platteville Colorado Police Department Sergeant Pablo Vazquez located Rios-Gonzalez's car and stopped her just past a set of railroad tracks, leaving Vazquez's vehicle on the the tracks at the crossing. Rios-Gonzalez was handcuffed and Fort Lupton Colorado Police Department Officer Jordan Steinke placed her in Vazquez's vehicle, which was later struck by a train.[1]

Rios-Gonzalez suffered nine broken ribs, a fractured sternum, a broken arm, and a broken leg.[2]

Rios-Gonzalez was charged with felony menacing.[3]

In September 2022, Vazquez was placed on paid administrative leave.[4][5]

Steinke was placed on administrative leave.[1]

In October 2022, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation completed their investigation and sent the results to the District Attorney.[5]

Vazquez was charged with five misdemeanor counts of Reckless Endangerment, and one count each of Obstructing Highway or Other Passageway, Careless Driving, and Parking Where Prohibited.[6]

Steinke was charged with felonies for Criminal Attempt to Commit Manslaughter and Second Degree Assault, and a misdemeanor for Reckless Endangerment.[6]

In December 2022, Vazquez was fired.[1]

Rios-Gonzalez filed a lawsuit against the officers.[1]

On February 23, 2023, the District Attorney dropped the second-degree felony assault charge against Steinke.[1]

On March 2, 2023, Steinke pleaded not guilty.[7]

On June 30, 2023, Rios-Gonzalez pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor menacing charge and received a one-year deferred sentence.[8]

On July 28, 2023, Steinke was found guilty of reckless endangerment and third-degree assault. The judge said the prosecutor did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Steinke "knowingly intended to harm" and found her not guilty of attempted reckless manslaughter.[9]

On August 1, 2023, Steinke was fired.[10]

On September 15, 2023, Steinke was sentenced to 30 months of supervised probation.[11]

Officers Involved

Official Reports

Additional Sources