WALSENBURG — While it may not have been a date that would live in infamy; Wednesday, July 22, 2015 was a day Huerfano and Walsenburg emergency service first responders won’t likely forget for some time. A troubling timeline The aberrant day for emergency service calls in Walsenburg began at approximately 3 am when WPD Officer Mario Solano was dispatched to a residence on the city’s northwest side on an attempted suicide. Although there were two other individuals in the home, they were unable to get the victim down when he attempted to hang himself with an electrical cord. Solano acted quickly and cut the man down and got him breathing. Huerfano Ambulance Service responded to the scene and transported the individual to Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center. Officer Solano will likely be recognized by the City of Walsenburg for his life saving effort. As the day progressed, police began receiving calls concerning a number of tires that had been slashed/ flattened on East Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Streets, and Kansas Avenue. Police continued to follow-up on this rash of vandalism though this past weekend. As of Monday, July 27, police were working on at least 11 cases of tire damage vandalism. An additional
phone report of a similar incident came in Monday night but details were not available at press time. At 1:16 pm, city and county law enforcement and emergency medical responders were called to a location approximately 75 yards west of the Main Street railroad crossing when 59-year old Gary Lee Roberts threw himself in front of an eastbound Burlington-Northern Santa Fe train. The train did not run over the victim but did knock him back off of the tracks and he was reported to have suffered broken bones. The train was halted due to the incident and the Seventh Street and Hendren Street crossings were blocked until shortly before 3 pm, causing a massive traffic jam in the community. At 2:19 pm, law enforcement and EMTs were called to a location in the 300 block of East Seventh Street on an attempted suicide by prescription drugs. At 2:41 pm, city and county law enforcement were called to a scene in the 800 block of West Eighth Street on a report of a disturbance involving a large number of people, with some possibly armed with knives. A number of individuals were detained at the scene but there were no reported arrests or injuries. Just six minutes later, at 2:47 pm, WPD Chief Tommie McLallen, Huerfano County Sheriff’s Lt. Milan Rapo and Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman left the Eighth Street scene on a dispatch of another disturbance in progress with a knife involved back at the 300 East Seventh St. address where the attempted suicide call had originated earlier in the day. One individual was detained for a short time, a knife confiscated, and the suspect released at the scene. No arrests and no injuries were reported. At 3:28 pm, police and EMTs were called to the scene of a two vehicle traffic accident at Walsen Avenue and Cedar Street. At 4:34 pm, Chief McLallen and WPD Captain Vince Suarez were dispatched to a location in the 500 block of West Eleventh Street on a report of a disturbance. A press release issued by the police department said, “Upon arrival officers found a female victim, a half a block away from the residence, who reported she was assaulted by her son. When officers drove up to the residence, the alleged assault suspect fired one shot at the officers with a rifle. The officers were able to get the suspect to drop his weapon and attempted to take the suspect into custody. The suspect began to struggle with the officers and resist arrest.” Russell Timothy Bellah, 45, fought with both officers, with their tasers having little effect on him. The suspect at one point reportedly pulled the taser darts from his body and continue to advance on the officers. He continued to struggle, according to Chief McLallen, even after he was handcuffed. Bellah was supposed to be advised on his initial charges last Thursday in district court, but he was still reportedly incoherent, possibly from the effects of drug use, and was unable to attend the proceedings. Bellah refused all medical treatment according to police. Bellah has been initially charged with a number of criminal counts including; two counts of attempted first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree assault, two counts of attempted second degree assault, third degree assault of an at-risk adult, possession of a weapon by a prior offender, prohibited use of a weapon, violation of a protection order, criminal mischief, harassment and reckless endangerment. Bellah is being held at the Huerfano County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash or surety bond.