Almont man remains in county jail for threatening incident

Allegedly threatened to kill ‘potheads’ driving by his house

by Mark Reaman

A 53-year-old man living near Almont off of Highway 135 remains in jail after allegedly making threats to harm people driving by his house and pointing a firearm at a Gunnison County deputy on Wednesday, August 25. Brad Fortner is scheduled for a court appearance on September 9 and in the meantime remains in the Gunnison County jail under a $60,000 bond.

According to Gunnison County sheriff John Gallowich, Fortner told a person in conversation that he was going to “kill the potheads that drove by the house” which is located just north of Almont on 135. Gallowich said the person who heard the comment took it seriously enough and “felt something bad could happen,” so they called the sheriff’s office. When a deputy responded to the house to check on the situation, Fortner was seen inside the residence carrying a handgun that he then pointed at the deputy. The deputy immediately took cover and called in law enforcement support.

That led to a major safety closure of the highway on Wednesday evening from approximately 6 p.m. until 12:40 a.m. Thursday morning. Officers from the sheriff’s office, the Crested Butte marshal’s office, the Mt. Crested Butte police department, the Colorado State Patrol and Gunnison Police department K-9 unit all responded to the scene.

Negotiations between officers and Fortner took place for several hours and Fortner eventually surrendered at about 12:10 a.m. Thursday.

Gallowich said Fortner was charged with two counts of first-degree assault from when he pointed his gun at deputies on two different occasions, a menacing charge stemming from the incident and a charge of being in possession of a weapon which was in violation of a protection order he was under. Gallowich said he has had several such violations of the protection order.

Fortner is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 9.

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