Colorado Hostage Makes Dinner for Gunman

AURORA, Colo. --

She was held hostage in her own home for hours Tuesday night.

Kathy spoke with 7NEWS about helping to peacefully end a SWAT situation, but she didn't want her last name used.

The tense confrontation began just before 6 p.m., when a fugitive task force headed by U.S. marshals and assisted by Aurora police attempted to arrest 22-year-old Grant Bletcher on felony warrants in the 1900 block of Dayton Street.

He was spotted in a white truck driven by a woman, but the driver sped off, said Aurora police spokeswoman Cassidee Carlson. A patrol car saw the pickup run a stop sign, causing a wreck at Colfax Avenue and Clinton Street. The truck driver was arrested, but Bletcher ran off and was later seen entering an apartment building in the 1400 block of Clinton Street.

Kathy heard the crash from a block away in her apartment near 14th Avenue and Clinton Street. She looked outside and saw a man with a gun walking in between the apartments.

"I made the automatic, erroneous assumption that he was probably an undercover police person," said Kathy. "I came in and I didn't see him follow me in, and I said, 'Are you a policeman?' And he said, 'No.' And that's when my stress meter pegged."

Inside her small apartment, there's little room to walk around. Kathy said Bletcher walked around looking for a way out that wasn't the front door.

"He kept telling me to be quiet, because he was hoping they would just look around and leave," said Kathy. "He didn't actually threaten me, but he did suggest strongly that I be quiet or I can get hurt."

She said he tried finding a way out through a vent in the ceiling. The back door wasn't an option because Aurora SWAT officers were outside, getting in position.

"He basically freaked. He was scared. He was panicked," said Kathy. "He wasn't aiming the gun at me a lot, directly. It was just sort of general swishing it around. I asked that he not point it at me, so he stopped pointing -- he apologized."

He asked for a phone, according to Kathy. She let him call his mom.

"I was nothing but cooperative. He was talking to his mother. I took his hand and held it. I was trying to be supportive and calm him," said Kathy. "He had stopped looking for a way to get out. He knew he was caught. He was very scared. I was very scared."

After spending time with him, she didn't fear a shootout was planned.

"Was he going to go suicidal? Was he going to go the classical old movie, (James) Cagne, Bogey (Humphrey Bogart), Richard Widmark, 'You'll never take me alive, cop?' But he didn't. He didn't do any of that. He didn't even threaten them," said Kathy.

7NEWS checked Bletcher's criminal past. He has numerous felony arrests for drugs. He also has been arrested for car theft and burglary.

At some point she said Bletcher hid the gun in her closet. When police called using Kathy's home phone number, she said Bletcher told the officer he had tossed the gun.

"Had he made a mad dash for the closet, I would have made a mad dash for the door," Kathy said.

Kathy then took a motherly turn and decided to make him dinner.

"About 6:30 p.m., I said I'm going to fix you some supper. I got up and went out to the kitchen; I had just fixed a chicken rice casserole," said Kathy. "I fixed him a big dish of casserole. Warmed it up, nuked it, and a glass of milk, and I brought it out on a tray with a spoon. No sharp objects."

She thought the meal would relax him. She also got him to joke around.

"And that helped a little. At one point he said, 'Well, at least I've given the cops something to do today.' And I said, "Are you kidding? You've justified their whole budget for the year,'" said Kathy.

While he talked with his mom, Kathy sat with Bletcher on her bed.

"I said, 'Well look at it this way, you have the honor of being the first bad guy I've ever been in bed with,'" said Kathy.

After dinner, Kathy let him have a cigarette, but made him smoke it far away from her in the bathroom.

"I could have bolted. I could have run out the door," said Kathy.

"Why didn't you?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"Well, the officer said I was not too bright for not doing that exactly, but it was calculated risk," said Kathy.

She said she was afraid of losing his trust and then seeing him barricade himself inside her apartment. She feared police would have to use tear gas or end up having to shoot and did not want the expense of cleaning up.

"I didn't want to see him hurt. I didn't want to see me hurt. I didn't want to see the police hurt or my neighbors," said Kathy.

After his cigarette, Kathy took his hand and led him outside.

"We came to the door, I held his hand until he got up to the door, and the officer talked him into stepping forward, getting down on the ground," said Kathy. "The minute they got him into cuffs and got me away, the place was a sea of blue uniforms everywhere."

Kathy said she's heard a lot of sounds from inside her apartment near Colfax Avenue, but will be more careful about what she checks out herself.

"I will certainly look through the peep hole a lot more," said Kathy.

It was another tense incident for Aurora police, who have had three officers injured in violent confrontations in the past week.

During a Sunday night incident, a car theft suspect was killed, another suspect injured and an Aurora police officer suffered a head injury.

On March 17, an Aurora police officer was hit in the leg by bullet fragments during a traffic stop near Emporia Street and East Colfax Avenue. The suspect later took a family of four hostage. Early the next morning, SWAT officers killed the suspect after police said he opened fire on them.

On March 15, an Aurora police officer was shot in the wrist while trying to end a hostage situation near East First Avenue and South Sable Boulevard, police said. In that confrontation, the suspect, Daniel Garcia, 25, died from multiple gunshot wounds, the Arapahoe County coroner's office said. Garcia had recently walked away from a halfway house, where he was serving time on assault and menacing charges, according to court records.

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