DENVER (CBS4) – One of four suspects arrested in Denver Friday night at a hotel near Coors Field says there was no plot to shoot MLB All-Star Game fans, even though one of his friends harbored a large cache of weapons in his room at the Maven Hotel.
“He had a lot of guns, he did,” said Ricardo Rodriguez. “I don’t know what his intentions were from my understanding selling them and trading them. That was about it.”
Rodriguez, 44, spoke to CBS4 Sunday night via a video feed at the Denver Jail where he is being held on a weapons charge. Other suspects arrested Friday on drug and weapons charges declined to be interviewed. (Gabriel Rodriguez, however, spoke with CBS4’s Rick Sallinger the following day.)
Rodriguez said he arrived in Denver from Washington state last Thursday, intending to move to Colorado. He said mutual friends introduced him to Richard Platt, 42, who he met for the first time on Thursday. He said Platt recommended they stay at the Maven Hotel near Coors Field, which struck a chord with Rodriguez.
“I wanted to go to the All-Star show, wanted to be part of that,” said Rodriguez.
He said he was armed with a 9mm pistol and also had an AR-15 rifle in his 8th floor hotel room, which he booked himself. Rodriguez said he designs and builds guns and then donates them to military veterans. He said on Friday, when he was in Platt’s hotel room, there was an array of weaponry.
“I just saw a lot of firearms which kind of concerned me,” said Rodriguez.
He said “They had a sniper rifle, probably two of them, two or three mid-sized assault rifles, AK-47s, another short entry weapon, to the average person it’s a TEC-9, like an Uzi, numerous firearms.”
Rodriguez said he also noticed body armor, ammunition and a large quantity of narcotics in the room. Rodriguez said some of the guns were inoperable.
Asked if he questioned Platt about all the guns, Rodriguez said he did.
“He said he was collecting them for his friends.”
At another point in the interview, Rodriguez said, “He advised me he wanted the guns, trading them with other buddies. That was about it.”
Denver police say a hotel employee saw the weapons in Platt’s room and police were notified.
Platt, Rodriguez and another man and woman were arrested at the hotel Friday night.
Speculation swirled about how the weapons were going to be used.
Rodriguez says to the best of his knowledge, mass violence was not planned.
“If he would have actively mentioned something like that, if he would have said something like that, no way I would have let anything like that happen. I can tell you if I would have saw something like that, seen him preparing for something like that I would have intervened. No way I would have let something like that happen,” said Rodriguez.
“Richard Platt loves this community. He may be involved in some activity none of which I believe has anything to do with actively and aggressively hurting his own community. I don’t think Richard Platt is the kind of person who would harm anybody.”
The FBI released a statement Sunday saying the agency did not believe the suspects posed a threat to baseball fans nor that they were involved in terrorism.
Platt, Rodriguez and the other suspects are due back in court Monday.