A Denver Hells Angels Motorcycle Club member who was arrested in 2019 as part of a wider law enforcement crackdown filed a federal lawsuit last week after police executed a no-knock warrant at his Golden Home Was.
A Jefferson County Sheriff’s SWAT deputy shot Dustin “Dusty” Ulrich, 49, with a projectile meant to break the lock on his front door, a 2020 letter published by then-First Judicial District Attorney Peter Weir According to when he had sanctioned the officer of iniquity.
Ulrich, who was seriously injured, claimed in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court of Colorado on Wednesday that police should not have executed the warrant as an unannounced, “no-knock” operation, but “just to the front door.” Should have walked, knocked on the door or played.”
“The defendants adopted this highly violent, unnecessary and dangerous tactical plan to damage and harass the plaintiff’s home,” the lawsuit reads. Ulrich has sued twice before successfully suing Denver police and other law enforcement for his treatment.
The owner of the tattoo shop was one of 14 people targeted in an operation against the local Hell’s Angels club on November 7, 2019, which officials believe to be an outlaw motorcycle gang. At 4 a.m. that day throughout the Denver area, police officers used flash-bang grenades and door-blasting projectiles to execute 19 search warrants, confiscating methamphetamine, cocaine, cash and firearms during arrests.
The raids followed a five-month investigation into the motorcycle club, which began when a former member agreed to cooperate with the police and disclose the inner workings of the alleged criminal operation.
According to Weir’s letter, at Ulrich’s home, the SWAT team set off flash-bangs and smashed Ulrich’s windows. A team of officers tried to break through the front door with a banging ram—one officer shouted, “Sheriff’s office, search warrant, come to the door!” – But the door did not move.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Brown then pulled out a short-barreled shotgun with special ammunition designed to break the locks. However, as soon as he pulled the trigger, Ulrich came to the door and opened it.
The explosion hit Ulrich in the side, leaving a baseball-sized hole in his stomach. According to Veer’s letter, his intestines came out through the hole. Ulrich was hospitalized, put into a coma and nearly died, according to lawsuits filed against 16 individual officers in Jefferson County, the cities and four departments of Golden, Aurora and Arvada.
Representatives for the three cities and counties did not immediately return requests for comment or declined to comment on Monday. Ulrich’s attorney, Paul Fischer, did not return a request for comment.
Ulrich has no prior criminal history, the lawsuit says, and would have complied with a declared search warrant.
“Plaintiff will have responded to any reasonable request for an interview and calmly submitted to the service of a search warrant at his home and place of business,” the complaint reads. “There was no ground to waive the general constitutional requirement of a knock notice.”
Federal court documents paint a less peaceful picture of Ulrich. He is accused of helping to kidnap other Hells Angels members and in July 2019, a man was brutally beaten while escorting the man out of a motorcycle club.
Members of Hell’s Angels attacked the man, tied his hands behind his back and brought him to Ulrich’s tattoo shop, the Cool Cats Tattoo Parlor in Englewood, where Ulrich blackened the man’s Hell’s Angels tattoo and He threatened to kill her if ever snatched, investigators allege in court documents.
A federal criminal complaint states, “This is done to intimidate and intimidate the victim and warn of the same consequences if they deceive the Hell’s Angels.”
According to federal court filings, the man nevertheless turned out to be an informant, and his account of kidnapping, beating and stabbing was corroborated by two other witnesses. Cell phone records and other physical evidence also support the informant’s account, court filings say, although defense lawyers for club members questioned the informant’s credibility.
In a group chat seen by investigators, Ulrich and other club members discussed looking for the man, and on July 12, 2019, said they “found him” and were “bringing him to Dusty.” According to the federal complaint, Ulrich replied that he was “setting up” and says the group should delete the chat.
According to the criminal complaint, he wrote, “we are placing a great deal of faith in encryption.”
Of the 14 people targeted in the 2019 raids, seven are facing federal charges in relation to kidnapping and criminal conspiracy, and four are facing criminal charges in state court, according to court records.
One man, 43-year-old William Henderson, was killed on July 11, 2020. Another, 83-year-old William “Curly” Whitney, pleaded guilty to possessing explosives and received a two-year deferred sentence. Court records show that the charges against 76-year-old Michael Dyer were dismissed.
Wednesday’s lawsuit isn’t the first time Ulrich and the Hells Angels have sued police over their treatment. Ulrich was part of a group of Hells Angels that sued Denver in 2002 after 18 members of the group were thrown to the ground outside their headquarters and held for hours, even though police did not detect any illegal activity. Couldn’t find The city apologized and paid $50,000 to settle that lawsuit.
In 2007, Denver and Mountain View police again apologized to the motorcycle club and paid $14,000 after eight bikers were rifle-pointed without probable cause during a traffic stop. Ulrich was also part of that case.
And in September 2020, five Colorado police agencies paid another Hells Angels member $25,000 after a LaSalle police officer made fun of him for shooting the man.