The 17-year-old led police on an hours-long manhunt Tuesday
By Eric Heinz
A 17-year-old juvenile inmate is back in custody after police said he stabbed and escaped a guard who was escorting him Tuesday, May 31, morning at a dental office in Lakeside and then led officers on an hours-long manhunt.
Juan Ocegueda was already in the custody of Platte Valley Youth Services Center in Greeley, and at about 8:45 a.m. he stabbed a guard while at a Primary Dental, 5801 W. 44th Ave., according to Jacki Kelley, a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office public information officer.
Call 911 if Juan Ocegueda is seen. 17 yo juvenile. Escapee from Platte Valley Youth facility. Wearing white shirt, tan pants. Stabbed guard while at dentist office, 5801 W 44th Ave, Lakeside. Guard’s condition is unknown. Shelter in place issued for area. Heavy police presence. pic.twitter.com/9VT9InAAvE
— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) May 31, 2022
A shelter-in-place order was issued about 10 a.m. for locations within a mile of the attack, but police said Ocegueda was apprehended at about 2 p.m. The search involved multiple law enforcement agencies.
Ocegueda is described by police as between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9, between 118 and 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was considered “armed and dangerous” in his wanted description, as police conducted yard-to-yard searches.
“It’s a hardcore search in the area with canines and lots of search teams,” Kelley told The Denver North Star before Ocegueda’s arrest. “We are asking for residents to stay vigilant. There are drones and a heavy police presence. We’re trying to run it down from every direction.”
It was not immediately clear what crimes Ocegueda may have committed to have him placed under the detention of the Platte Valley Youth Services Center, as juvenile records can sometimes be sealed.
Calls to the center were referred to Colorado Department of Human Services officials who said they would reply with more information later today.
Madlynn Ruble, a spokesperson for CDHS, told The Denver North Star that when the Division of Youth Services has an inmate or client who requires dental care that cannot be provided within one of their centers, they are transported to a dentist willing to provide care to youth in secure custody, which is why Ocegueda was taken to Lakeside all the way from Greeley.
“Not all communities have a dental provider willing to provide services to youth in the division’s care,” Ruble said.
The location of the attack appears to have been at a Primary Dental that is located next door to the city of Lakeside municipal offices. The Denver North Star has reached out to Lakeside city officials for comment on the incident.
Kelley said Jefferson County emergency services made calls, texts and emails to alert at least 101 people who live in the immediate area.
At about 1:10 p.m., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office sent a message on Twitter that the guard, an employee of the Platte Valley Youth Services Center, did not sustain life-threatening injuries in the attack.
“We are grateful to report that the correctional officer who was stabbed multiple times in Lakeside did not sustain life threatening injuries during the attack,” the tweet read. “He will be treated and released from the hospital today.”
Local news website Bucket List Community Cafe, which is based in the immediate area, was able to get an interview with one person who was in the building and witnessed the incident.
A woman who was identified by the news website only as “Jacqueline” said Ocegueda was shackled “head-to-toe” when he was brought to the Primary Dental office. (Note: some strong language in the video below).
Jacqueline said Ocegueda was unshackled when he asked to use the bathroom.
“He ran after me with a knife, and he found the door and he ran out,” Jaqueline said.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided when it becomes available.