Denver deputy fell asleep at the wheel, falsely reported crashed car stolen, affidavit says

A Denver Sheriff’s Department deputy arrested earlier this month on charges related to a New Year’s Day hit-and-run crash fell asleep behind the wheel, according to an arrest affidavit from the Aurora Police Department.

According to the released affidavit, the off-duty deputy was driving home from hanging out with friends when he fell asleep at the wheel, crashed into a barrier and fled the scene.

Jeremiah Espinoza-Young, 30, was arrested on charges of attempting to influence a public servant, false reporting to authorities, leaving the scene after striking unattended property and careless driving, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, after crashing the car, Espinoza-Young returned home and reported it stolen.

When speaking with the Denver Police Department, Espinoza-Young claimed he had woken up around 10 a.m. to go to work and realized his car was stolen, according to the affidavit. He then called Denver department to file a report and Aurora Police dispatch to inform them of the report.

Just before 7 a.m. on Jan. 1, Aurora police officers had responded to reports of a crash at 1925 Tower Road, outside of a King Soopers warehouse, the affidavit stated. The car, a white 2023 Subaru Legacy linked to Espinoza-Young, had struck a concrete barrier and pole outside of the warehouse and had major front-end damage.

After Espinoza-Young’s call, an Aurora officer reached out to let him know his car had been found and involved in an accident that morning, according to the affidavit.

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At this time, questions were raised about phone calls he made earlier that morning to his mother and brother around the approximate time of the crash, the affidavit stated. Espinoza-Young claimed he was only calling to wish them a Happy New Year and maintained he had not crashed the car.

However, when another Aurora officer confronted Espinoza-Young about inconsistencies in his story, he admitted to crashing the car and fleeing the scene, “but he didn’t know why since he didn’t have any alcohol in his system,” the affidavit stated.

Espinoza-Young turned himself in to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

Espinoza-Young, who has been a deputy sheriff in Denver for eight years, was placed on investigatory leave on Jan. 3.

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