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Man Arrested, Gets Lesson On Colorado’s ‘Make My Day’ Law

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Jerry O'Quinn demonstrating how he was holding his gun (credit: CBS)

Jerry O’Quinn demonstrating how he was holding his gun (credit: CBS)

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FEDERAL HEIGHTS (CBS4) – Federal Heights police arrested a man on felony menacing and reckless endangerment charges after pointing a handgun at a process server.

The process server was outside Jerry O’Quinn’s front door to serve him legal papers. O’Quinn, 63, says the woman never identified herself and he felt threatened when the stranger opened the storm door.

“If you come on my deck I’m going to blow your bleeping brains out,” O’Quinn recalled saying to her. “I said, ‘You need to identify yourself.’ She didn’t.”

The woman told CBS4 she did not touch the door. According to the police incident report, the woman identified herself as a process server to O’Quinn twice, saying she had to deliver him legal documents. When O’Quinn continued to wave the gun at her, she backed away into the street and called police.

“(Regardless) of the situation, I feel that I had a right to protect myself,” O’Quinn said.

Legal analyst Craig Silverman, a former chief deputy district attorney, says the homeowner was in the wrong.

“Even if it’s in your house, you still don’t have a right to felony menace someone; in other words, point a gun at them and put them in fear of death or serious bodily injury,” Silverman said.

Silverman also said the so-called “Make My Day” law doesn’t apply in this situation. The statute states the person would have had to unlawfully enter the house, be committing a crime or be believed to be intending to use physical force.

“This conduct appears to be over the top,” Silverman said.

O’Quinn pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and spent 26 days in the county jail. He was sentenced to one year probation.

It wasn’t the first time O’Quinn has had a run-in with the law. The incident report revealed an arrest warrant for numerous refusals to report for jury duty.

- By Young Kim for CBSDenver.com

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