Update: The Boomerang reported on Monday that Kobi Vasquez had not been arrested when the original story was filed. Arrest logs received on Tuesday indicated Kobi Vasquez was arrested Monday.
A 26-year-old Laramie man was arrested in the early hours of Sunday for an incident at the Ranger Bar in which he allegedly threatened to kill a number of patrons.
Devon Vasquez was charged with making “terroristic threats,” a felony that, under Wyoming law, means a person “threatens to commit any violent felony with the intent to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such inconvenience.”
According to a police affidavit, witnesses at the bar said two individuals, including Vasquez, “attempted to pick a fight” with a man who was sitting in the smoking area of the bar.
According to that man, the bartenders came to the smoking area when Vasquez was standing on a table.
After the bartenders told Devon Vasquez to leave, he reportedly told a witness that he was “going to shoot him in the face with a 9 mm.”
“Devon Vasquez then stated to all witnesses and (the) victim that he was going to kill them all,” Laramie Police Department Sgt. Sally Dallas’ affidavit states. “A few of the witnesses forcibly removed Devon Vasquez from the premises.”
At that point, someone called 911.
When LPD Officer Amber Ferguson was talking to witnesses outside the bar, she saw a man, matching the identity described by witnesses, in the Safeway parking lot.
The man was later identified as Devon Vasquez.
When Ferguson approached Devon Vasquez, he “repeatedly inquired as to whether he was being detained.”
“Devon Vasquez refused to provide Officer Ferguson his identification or to identify himself to Officer Ferguson so Officer Ferguson placed him into custody for interference with a peace officer,” according to an affidavit.
In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is not a violation of an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights for states to pass statutes requiring individuals to identify themselves to police, so long as that person is being asked to provide his name because an officer has a a reasonable suspicion that he’s involved in the alleged criminal activity that prompted the stop.
Wyoming does not have such a law, known as a “stop and identify” law, that explicitly allows an arrest for refusing to provide one’s name.
For his refusal to provide his name, Devon Vasquez was ultimately charged Monday with “interference with a peace officer.”
Under the language of that law, a person is only guilty of interference with a peace officer if he “knowingly obstructs, impedes or interferes with or resists arrest by a peace officer while engaged in the lawful performance of his official duties.”
Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent, who signed off on the charges against Devon Vasquez, did not respond to a Monday request for clarification about whether Wyoming’s statute on “interference with a peace officer” has been interpreted by courts to accommodate “stop and identify” practices.
Before Devon Vasquez was arrested, Laramie police also pursued the second individual accused of trying to “pick a fight” with a Ranger Bar patron. That man was later identified as Kobi Vasquez.
Witnesses said Kobi Vasquez had left the scene in a gray Dodge truck after the incident.
When police arrived at the scene, Kobi Vasquez was fleeing the scene in the truck registered in his name.
Dallas pursued the man through Laramie’s residential streets, where Kobi Vasquez was driving 45-60 mph, according to an affidavit.
Kobi Vasquez “skidded to a stop” at the corner of Park and Steele streets, where he jumped out of the truck and hopped the fences of several houses and was able to escape Dallas’ pursuit.
Albany County’s arrest logs indicated that Kobi Vasquez was arrested on Monday.
A firearm was not located on Devon Vasquez’s person, nor in Kobi Vasquez’s truck.