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Update: Cortez bondsman shoots wanted man during struggle

Freedom Anderson and Clint Simmons
Bail bondsman requested help in arrest of suspect; suspect and bondsman previously investigated

A bail bondsman shot a wanted man during a struggle in Cortez on Sept. 30, sending him to a Denver hospital.

Cortez Police Department reports about the incident were finalized Oct. 28, and District Attorney Matt Margeson said Wednesday the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office was reviewing the case.

The shooting occurred about 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at a residence in the 500 block of East Arbecam Avenue, about a block northwest of Kemper Elementary School. The Journal first reported news of the shooting Oct. 5.

Cortez bail bondsman Clint Simmons, 61, said he accidentally discharged his .40 caliber Glock while pursuing Freedom Anderson, 26, who he said was a fugitive who had jumped bail, according to an incident report from the Cortez Police Department.

Simmons did not return The Journal’s call asking for comment.

Freedom Anderson
Clint Simmons

Simmons called Cortez detective Tom Quinnett about 6:17 p.m. Sept. 30 and asked whether law enforcement could help him arrest Anderson. Quinnett agreed, and informed Sgt. Michael Moran, who enlisted three officers to assist in the search, police reports said.

Anderson has a history of run-ins with law enforcement officers.

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He has been suspected in weapons and illegal narcotics cases in Montezuma and La Plata counties and allegedly had been on the run, the Cortez police report said. At the time of the shooting, he had arrest warrants in La Plata County for vehicular eluding, obstructing an officer, reckless endangerment and misdemeanor larceny.

Simmons was involved in a similar shooting incident Dec. 3, 2010. He was charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment, but the charges were dismissed.

Anderson was contacted Jan. 18 in Durango for a felony warrant at the Durango Post Office, 222 W. Eighth St., but left the scene. He allegedly crashed the vehicle into a residence near Eighth Street and East Eight Avenue. He fled on foot but was captured more than a week later, on Jan. 28.

Anderson was booked into the Denver Downtown Detention Center Wednesday on fugitive hold for another jurisdiction, as well as for possession of a schedule four controlled substance and criminal mischief.

Simmons told the detective that a phone call would cause Anderson to leave a trailer at Sikis Village Mobile Home, 321 S. Broadway. Anderson would then drive to a man’s residence in the 500 block of East Arbecam Avenue, the report said. Simmons stated two female bonding agents, Destinie Brenneman and Summer Daniel, were stationed at Sikis Village and watching for Anderson.

Officers planned to stop the vehicle in the area of Sikis Village to apprehend him.

Police tried to track Anderson but believed he had changed course and was no longer traveling to the Arbecam home.

They were then advised of shots fired in the 500 block of East Arbecam.

Police found Anderson lying on the driveway at Arbecam home, conscious and screaming in pain with a gunshot wound on his left arm.

An evaluation at Southwest Memorial Hospital showed Anderson sustained serious injuries, including a humerus fracture, the report said. He was flown to Lutheran Medical Center in Denver for further care.

Simmons told police that his two bonding agents called him and told him Anderson was dropped off at the property, the report said.

Simmons said he went to the Arbecam home and drew his firearm, stating that he knew Anderson to carry guns.

Simmons said he told Anderson he was under arrest and directed him to move to the ground. Simmons said Anderson didn’t move. So, Simmons began to move closer to Anderson, and was about to holster his gun when Anderson ran, he told police.

Simmons said Anderson reached behind his back, and he thought Anderson might have been reaching for a weapon or drugs. Simmons told police both fell to the ground after colliding with a gate on the property. Simmons then moved to grab Anderson, he said.

Brock said Anderson was not found with any weapon.

The two women ran up the driveway, and Anderson began to struggle with all three bonding agents. Simmons still held his gun and unintentionally fired it as it touched Anderson’s shoulder, he told police.

Simmons said he immediately called 911.

The sequence of events was confirmed by analysis of video surveillance, police said. Video surveillance did not have any sound or flash that indicated the time the shot was fired.

Simmons was cooperative and surrendered his gun to police, the report said. Nine rounds were in the gun.

Brenneman said Anderson punched her in the face, although a responding officer wrote that he did not notice any facial injury.

Daniel told police that Anderson rushed the pair.

Anderson told police he couldn’t give a statement at the time of the shooting because of the pain he was in.

Simmons left a pair of handcuffs at the scene.

Simmons was involved in a shooting incident Dec. 3, 2010 when he tried to arrest a wanted man in the 20000 block of County Road 19. He told police he fired his .40 caliber Glock twice at the ground while chasing the man, according to a Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office report. The man told police Simmons pointed the gun at him while shooting, and that he heard the bullets soar by his head, the report said. Simmons told police he carried the gun for safety, and that the chase took place in tall grass.

At the time, Simmons told officers he always assumes a wanted subject is also carrying a weapon, the report said. The report did not specify whether the wanted man carryied a weapon.

Simmons was charged with class three misdemeanor reckless endangerment. Margeson said that in 2011, the district attorney’s office dismissed the charges.

Simmons also gained notoriety in 2014, when he had a role in “Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters,” a reality TV show featuring Simmons and Dayson Goetz of Durango. Simmons and Goetz were filmed in Cortez in October 2014 as they entered a house on Sligo Street wearing flak jackets and carrying drawn guns.

Filming went awry when Simmons and Goetz realized they had the wrong house.

“It was a bum address, not here,” said Simmons. “He lied on his bail paperwork, imagine that.”