AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Aurora police had their man cornered. On Sept. 24 they responded to a home in the Conservatory neighborhood for what they described as a “felony child abuse investigation.” They said the homeowner, Eric Burns, 39, “had a valid misdemeanor no bond DV (domestic violence) warrant out of Denver.” Additionally, APD believed Burns had assaulted his son and abused his daughter.

Eric Burns

(credit: CBS)

The SWAT team was called and trained their weapons on the house.

“It was scary,” said neighbor Jasmine Staats who watched the standoff unfold from her home on the next block. SWAT team members were on scene for hours, negotiating with Burns to surrender. They believed there were guns in the house and that he was armed.

After several hours, Burns released his 6-year-old daughter. Police negotiators continued trying to coax Burns to give himself up. But when that didn’t happen, after about four hours, an internal Aurora police report says “Decision made to vacate.” Dozens of officers, negotiators and command officers packed up and left Burns in his home.

“We were pretty shocked,” said Staats, “We thought for sure they would have arrested someone. It’s quite concerning they would do that.”

“If someone’s got a warrant out for their arrest, why wouldn’t they have been arrested?” asked Staats.

(credit: CBS)

It turned out that Burns also was wanted for a felony kidnapping warrant issued by Black Hawk police, although Aurora police said they did not know about that warrant on Sept. 24.

Aurora police say they have not been able to locate Burns since the standoff.

The department declined to be interviewed but released a statement saying, “Members of our community and across the nation have made it very clear that they want their police department to respond differently to some incidents, particularly when there is a possibility of using serious force against a subject.” The statement went on to say “avoiding unnecessary confrontations was now a top priority for the department.”

“Sometimes this means walking away from a situation and utilizing investigative resources to apprehend persons at a later time,” said the APD statement.

Craig Miller described what he saw from across the street as a “huge police presence.”

(credit: CBS)

He told CBS4 that “after four hours and that kind of police response you kind of assume it’s ending with them taking somebody into custody. Pretty surprising that after that kind of response and that kind of action that there wasn’t an arrest made.”

Miller said he had mixed feelings about police walking away and leaving a wanted suspect in his neighborhood. He cited the Elijah McClain case and other police confrontations that have ended with a loss of life as the other side of the coin.

“You’ve got all these situations where force has ended deadly. And you know, I don’t want to see that. I don’t want that to happen ever again. Part of me was expecting them to just knock down the door and go in, but who knows how that could have ended? It could have ended with him being hurt, the police officers being hurt, a little girl being hurt.”

CBS4 has not been able to reach Eric Burns.

The Conservatory neighborhood incident marked the second time in September that CBS4 learned of Aurora police leaving a wanted suspect after a standoff, in what the department calls de-escalation techniques. In early September, Aurora police officers twice walked away from arresting a 47-year-old man who was terrorizing residents of an apartment complex, even after the man allegedly exposed himself to kids, threw a rock through one resident’s sliding glass door, was delusional, was tasered by police and forced the rescue of two other residents from a second floor room in an apartment he had ransacked.

Brian Maass

Comments (17)
  1. JohnnyBKay says:

    The government wants to create chaos and confusion and leave us helpless.

    But if someone defends himself against an attack by criminals, rest assured that that person will be quickly arrested. . .

  2. Nancy Pelosi says:

    You peasants are finally getting what you deserve LOL!

  3. SWC says:

    What an embarrassment…one after another. A colossal waste of time, energy and resources when the department is short – staffed already. This decision defies logic. Poor judgement at whatever level this was made.

  4. Lee Green says:

    Ok, a good decision after a bad one. Who thought it was a good idea to call out the SWAT team for a misdemeanor warrant? THAT person should be fired!

    1. Dan Bob says:

      He had a misdemeanor warrant out of Denver and was wanted in Aurora in a felony investigation for abuse. He also had a felony warrant out of Black Hawk for kidnapping.

  5. jay ND says:

    Good Job Dum azzes! Nice that you cow tau to the whims of crooks and politicians and NOT THE LAW. So nice to see.

  6. Jet says:

    So if that suspect leaves his home tonight and kills the DV victim, is Aurora PD liable for that murder? I see civil attorneys winning yet again with this move. We just about neutralized them with laws but now they are going to go after the money.

  7. John wallace says:

    So now using the de escalation rules , what happens when they do , and the suspect harms someone after that point ? ,are they not going to be held liable , its a double edged sword.

  8. John E Halpin Jr says:

    That’s setting a bad precedent for the future and if another Officer is killed or an innocent person by him would it still be thought of as unnecessary. Not it it’s your family member, friend, then you’ll be saying if they took him to begin with my family member, friend mat=y still be alive.

  9. Common Sense says:

    One of the many problems with liberals is that they tend to be safe in their ivory tower, telling all the little people why they’re so lacking. Hopefully, this clown’s next victim is one of those smarter-than-you liberals. That would be poetry in motion. Get ready liberals ….. the cops are giving you fools exactly what you wanted. HA.

  10. Damon says:

    Back in the day, it was typical for police to respond to a domestic violence call, and there question a woman who says she’s not pressing charges, and then police just left and forgot about it. Aurora was pretty much first in the world to change all that. Aurora was a pioneer of mandatory arrests, the “no bond domestic violence warrant”, etc. Now Aurora is first in the world to just walk away again.

    1. SWC says:

      Hey “D”! Bet you miss it here.

  11. TRUMP 2020 says:

    People better get used to police walking away. Isn’t this what everyone wanted when they call for de-funding the police? Why didn’t they just call in a mental health specialist? :)

  12. natalie says:

    They the police are giving the public what they want, less policing. You can’t have it both ways. They were there they showed up for 4 hours and considering what can happen if they stormed in, they choose to leave. Get used to it because they also have to think about themselves once in awhile because clearly the public doesn’t.

  13. Joe says:

    Huh, I bet you can thank the new police chief of aurora loser for calling this off. Maybe she should make sure the laws are enforced equally for everyone..

  14. TomTancredoFan says:

    The first consideration in any police or swat confrontation should be the skin color of the perpetrator. If the skin color is black, just leave the vicinity and let the descendant of slaves get on with his life. Because, y’know, we once had slavery.

Leave a Reply