A man arrested by Westminster police for allegedly stealing a bag with cash from a couple hosting a yard sale has been cleared of any crime in the case.
Armando Valdez Gonzalez, 50, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of aggravated robbery, first-degree assault of an at-risk person, and theft, according to police.
On Wednesday, the Adams County District Attorney’s Office, after reviewing the case, announced that Gonzalez committed no crime and “he took every opportunity to contact the appropriate authorities” the day of the misunderstanding.
At about 9 a.m. Saturday, Gonzalez stopped by a yard sale in 4700 block of West 102nd Avenue, according to authorities. At the sale, Gonzalez was accused of stealing a cash bag. He tried to explain to the host couple that they were mistaken, that the bag was his and he takes it to yard sales he visits, according to the DA’s news release.
“The woman and her husband did not believe Gonzalez, and they attempted to prevent him from leaving the location,” the release said. “Gonzalez, who was in the front seat of his truck with the window down, drove away from the area. When he did so, the woman fell to the ground and sustained injuries as a result of the fall.”
Gonzalez contacted police to inform them of the incident. His cash bag was given to police so they could review it. “The female homeowner also reviewed the bag and confirmed it was not hers,” the release said. “The woman’s husband later called police to inform them that they had, in fact, found their bag from the yard sale.
“As the facts and circumstances outlined above make clear, the original allegations arose from a regrettable mistake and misunderstanding,” prosecutors said.
Investigators found that there’s no basis “for the filing of criminal charges,” according to the release. “The homeowners were informed, understood, and agreed with the decision.”
Terry O’Malley, a Denver attorney who represents Gonzalez, said in an email that his client was attacked by the woman, her husband and two bystanders.
“All he attempted to do was leave with his money, as he was accused of stealing her money and physically attacked by her,” O’Malley said. Gonzalez is down about $8,000 in bond, attorney and processing fees after his arrest.
“Quite an expensive day at the garage sale for a poor family,” O’Malley said.
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