A Colorado man who reacted to a Latino man and his girlfriend making a U-turn in his driveway by allegedly threatening them with a gun faces felony and misdemeanor charges.
Chris Ochoa, who identifies as Mexican-American, wrote on Facebook that he and his girlfriend were on their way to a party the night before his friend's wedding last month and pulled into a driveway while in the affluent private community of Elk Ridge Estates in Sedalia. Realizing he was in the wrong driveway due to incorrect GPS directions, Ochoa immediately made a U-turn.
But as he was headed toward the main road, "a large red truck pulled in front of me and cut me off, blocking the road," Ochoa wrote. The man, who Ochoa's girlfriend snapped two photos of, "immediately got out of his truck and pointed a gun at us. He then ran to my driver’s side window (which was down) and continued to point the gun and yell that he was 'going to blow our head off!' and that he 'wants to blow my head off!'"
Ochoa said the man wouldn't allow for them to explain what had happened. "Apparently, the u-turn that I had made was in his driveway; and he wasn’t happy about it," he wrote. "During this time we had our hands up, pleading that we were only looking for my friend's wedding party and that we were not doing anything wrong," Ochoa wrote. "He remained in rage for what felt like an eternity."
Ochoa eventually found his way to the party and called police, according to his Facebook post. But he said the person hosting the event at her house for her nephew told him not to press charges because the man with the gun was the homeowner association president of the community and she didn't want to create a stir.
"The homeowner decided it was more important to keep the neighborhood where she lived 'calm and peaceful' so there wouldn’t be any 'drama,' instead of doing what was right and letting me press charges. She decided it was more of an inconvenience for me to press charges than to be neighbors with a man with such rage towards minorities that he is willing to kill them on a public road," Ochoa wrote.
The host of the wedding did identify the man as Paul Favret.
Ochoa said he learned other guests had been led to the same address, but he and his girlfriend were the only ones Favret chased with a gun.
“As a minority, I felt in danger," Ochoa wrote in a police report he recently felt comfortable filing after his friend's wedding was over, according to NBC affiliate KUSA, which NBC News confirmed with police. He said he didn't even end up going to the wedding the next day because he was so shaken by the incident.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office Deputy Cocha Heyden told NBC News that Favret turned himself in Thursday night on charges of menacing, a felony, disorderly conduct and prohibited use of a weapon, both misdemeanors.
Bond was set at $50,000, which Favret posted at 1:30 a.m. Friday, Heyden said. When the case is filed with the district attorney's office, they may choose to add or reduce charges, he said.
Favret is the CEO and founder of Resource Energy Partners, an oil and gas company, according to the company's team page, which has been deleted but can be found through internet archiving sites.
A spokesperson for the company said in a statement that "after being made aware of this last week, Resource Energy Partners placed Mr. Favret on administrative leave and retained outside counsel to conduct a thorough review of the incident.”
Favret told KUSA through a spokesman that "the Facebook post in question does not portray an accurate version of the events. However, I deeply regret my actions that day."
“I had no way of knowing the identities of the individuals in the vehicle," Favret said. "I just saw the unknown vehicle very close to the home at a time when we were not expecting any visitors and our property is clearly marked with our address and is about 1/2 mile from their destination." He added that he's had intruders on his property in the past.
In an incident report obtained by KUSA, police said Favret initially denied he had waved a gun at Ochoa and his girlfriend but changed his story when a deputy showed him the photos showing him clearly holding a gun. He told officers he had been on pain medication.
Calls to numbers listed for Favret in Sedalia went unanswered Friday, and Ochoa did not return request for comment.