Skip to comments.Grand jury clears white restaurateur in fatal shooting of black man in Aurora
Posted on 06/11/2005 10:58:13 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
Grand jury clears white restaurateur in fatal shooting of black man in Aurora
By Jeremy Meyer and Manny Gonzales Denver Post Staff Writers
Aurora - A grand jury has recommended no charges against a white restaurateur who fatally shot a black postal worker and wounded the victim's wife in a parking-lot dispute, the district attorney announced Thursday.
A grand jury found that Glenn Eichstedt, 52, didn't break any laws when he fired his .38-caliber revolver on Nov. 13 after being struck with a metal bar. The incident arose over a dispute about a collision between car doors.
Aaron Davis, 39, was killed. His wife, Benita Coleman- Davis, was critically injured.
Aurora police didn't arrest Eichstedt, who had a concealed-weapons permit. The district attorney for the 18th Judicial District opted to present the case to the grand jury.
The matter sparked a debate over racial issues, resulting in protests in front of Eichstedt's restaurant in Denver and claims of injustice by some African-Americans.
Gun-rights advocates called it a classic case of a person justifiably using a weapon in self-defense.
Eichstedt, reached Thursday at his Hoffbrau Tavern & Grill, said he felt vindicated that no indictment was handed up.
"It was strictly in self-defense," he said. "It was crazy, like a road-rage thing. But I'm happy I wasn't charged with this. ... It looks like the system worked, but it's a sad thing that something like this happened."
In a prepared statement, Eichstedt said he suffers from a permanent brain injury from being hit in the head.
"I just shot out to save my life, as I thought Mr. Davis was going to kill me," he said. "The Davises' race had nothing to do with this."
Coleman-Davis, who survived the shooting and remains in Aurora with the couple's adopted son, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.
Davis' niece, Megan White, said the legal system failed.
"This man should go to jail for murdering my uncle," she said from her home in Pennsylvania. "He was the kindest person that you would ever come across. ... His meanest face wouldn't scare the kids."
The 10-page grand jury report included testimony from seven witnesses and statements Eich stedt made to police.
The report says Davis confronted Eichstedt to complain about the door of Eichstedt's Mustang hitting his Toyota 4Runner in the parking spaces in front of a Blockbuster video store at South Chambers Road and East Mississippi Avenue.
The two stood between the cars and began arguing. Davis held a metal bar. Eichstedt had a gun in his pocket.
Coleman-Davis told the grand jury that she stepped between the two men. Amid the jostling and arguing, Coleman-Davis said, her husband jumped in front of her and struck Eichstedt on the head with the 8- to 10-inch-long solid metal bar.
Other witnesses had differing accounts of the confrontation and mixed impressions on who threw the first punch. But everyone said that Davis hit Eichstedt over the head before the shooting began and that no racial comments were exchanged.
One witness said Eichstedt shouted, "I can kill you right here, right now," before being struck and said, "Look what you've done to me," after being bludgeoned.
An emergency-room doctor said Eichstedt had several head wounds, including a 4-inch wound on his skull that required up to 30 stitches to close.
A coroner's report said that Davis refused a blood transfusion because of his religious beliefs and died from a gunshot wound to his trunk. The prosecutor said the refusal did not factor into the grand jury's findings.
Assistant District Attorney Leslie Hansen presented the case to the grand jury in four sessions that spanned three to four months. She did so "objectively," rather than being prosecutorial, said District Attorney Carol Chambers.
The case was brought to the grand jury for the sake of the community, Chambers said, to clear up allegations that racism was involved in the shootings and the police investigation.
"During the grand jury proceedings, there was never any evidence that race played a part," Chambers said. "We wanted to put information out there so the community would understand ... in the grand jury's own words."
Hansen said Davis was the first to exhibit "serious" force by using a metal bar that was classified as a "deadly weapon."
She did not feel Eichstedt's concealed-weapons permit had much bearing in the grand jury's deliberations and said it did not appear Eichstedt intended to shoot Coleman-Davis.
"The evidence showed Mrs. Coleman-Davis was standing directly behind her husband" when the shots were fired, Hansen said.
The grand jury signed the report May 12. The district attorney waited 10 days for a response from Eichstedt and Coleman- Davis, who both declined. It then went to a judge for his signature.
Larry Pozner, Eichstedt's attorney, called the matter a "profoundly sad case."
"Why a human being would beat another human being with a metal bar over a car ding defies logic," he said. "It's road rage with people standing still. While the law clearly permits Glenn Eichstedt to act in self-defense, no one feels better about it."
Why is race even mentioned in this article?
I dunno, but it seems that exchanging insurance info and letting the insurance companies sort out the mess would have been a better way of resolving this dispute.
Never bring a metal bar to a gunfight.
< /obvious >
My thoughts too. MSM wanted some generate some false public outrage perhaps?
"Why is race even mentioned in this article?"
Perhaps liberals receive subliminal erotic pleasure by inciting social discord, especially among the races. Or perhaps they're just depraved troglodytes.
Sounds like a good shoot. Screw the family of the deceased. They are as much to blame as the perp for enabling him to assault the citizen with the gun.
Notice how they refer to the assaulters wife as "the victims wife". The shooter was the "victim". He was pounded over the head with a steel bar first. The wife needs to be charged as an accomplice. Looks like a black on white crime if race is even relevent. Which I doubt.
Always be alert in parking lots--I've had a couple of near-incidents myself with crazy people.
"Sounds like a good shoot."
Couldn't agree more!
Sounds like he had poor judgment all the way around.
I would say it wasn't his face but the metal bar to the head that scared Mr. Eichstedt.
If somebody hits you in the head with a steel bar, I gotta call that justification for shooting him.
But everyone said that Davis hit Eichstedt over the head before the shooting began and that no racial comments were exchanged.
End of story
What a waste of taxpayer money to be PC
Because a black guy got shot by a white guy. Reverse this and it's "Move along folks. Nothing to see here."
Black culture ALWAYS tries to make race the issue when a black person is caught committing a crime.
Not where I grew up.
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