MONTROSE – A man high on meth terrorized motorists with a hammer on North Townsend Avenue earlier this week damaging dozens of vehicles and injured two police officers. He is currently in jail on $5,000 bond and faces nearly a dozen charges.
According to court records, last Sunday at about 5:30 p.m., Jose Trinidad, 29, was driving his green Honda on the wrong side of the road — southbound in the northbound lanes — in the 2700 block of North Townsend Avenue when he drove head on into an oncoming Audi. Shortly before that accident Trinidad sideswiped a Nissan Maxima occupied by two men.
The driver of the Audi reportedly got out to see if Trinidad was OK when Trinidad presented a hammer and began to chase the driver south on Townsend Avenue. Trinidad reportedly stopped to hit the Audi’s windshield three times with the hammer until it caved in and then chased the driver toward a nearby auto shop. Along the way Trinidad jumped in front of a Chevrolet pick up and struck the windshield twice.
One witness said Trinidad was “trying to hit every passing car with the hammer.”
Another women driving a Kia told officers Trinidad struck her car as she passed him damaging the rear windshield.
Trinidad reportedly smashed out the windows of of the repairs shop before he went to work smashing windows of cars parked outside.
The driver of the Audi dialed 911 and dispatch alerted officers to a “male is attacking cars after causing an accident at the intersection, continuing smashing cars as he is walking around the intersection.”
Within minutes officers arrived at the auto repair shop with their weapons drawn to find several vehicles damaged and Trinidad reportedly inside a Chevrolet pickup breaking out its windows.
“I had my service weapon at the low ready and I ordered the male, who was later identified as Jose Trinidad … to stop what he was doing and he did,” Montrose Police Officer Luis Perez stated in Trinidad’s arrest affidavit.
Perez, along with officer Phillip Lee said Trinidad stepped out of the car with a “blank look in his eyes and saying something I could not understand.”
He approached us with his right arm raised and clenched fist as he trying to hit us,” Perez said.
Lee fired his taser at him and it did not work “or it did not have any effect on Jose.”
Trinidad then tried to hit Perez but the officer deflected Trinidad’s arm before holstering his weapon to use his taser but it had no effect. Both officers attempted to use their batons on Trinidad to which Trinidad was unfazed. When Jose tried again to attack the officers both Perez and Lee tackled him and tried repeatedly to use a taser on him.
“It seemed as it Jose was on some unknown drug that gave his extra strength,” Perez said.
Once on the ground Trinidad began to scream at the officers “Soy eterno,” which means “I am eternal,” and told the officers they were dogs and that he was going to kill them.
Montrose County Sheriff deputies arrived to help the officers place Trinidad in handcuffs. Trinidad was transported to Montrose Memorial Hospital without serious injury but was dehydrated and tested positive for meth. Because of his “altered mental status” Trinidad was observed for a while longer before he was transferred to the Montrose County Jail.
Both officers Lee and Perez went to the emergency room to be treated for their injuries sustained while trying to restrain Trinidad. Lee suffered abrasions to his knees, where Perez suffered abrasions to his knees and chin and also sprained his MCL ligament in his left knee. Perez has not returned to duty following his injuries.
Trinidad faces a host of charges including driving under the influence of drugs, felony menacing, felony second degree assault on a peace officer, reckless driving, no proof of insurance, no driver’s license, felony first degree criminal trespassing, six counts of criminal mischief, and resisting arrest.