Denver sheriff deputy disciplined for obstructing police, not telling department about arrest

A Denver sheriff’s deputy will keep his job after pleading guilty last year for failing to tell his employer about an arrest that stemmed from him refusing Arvada police commands and acting aggressively toward officers.

The Denver Department of Public Safety suspended Deputy Michael Cassity for 14 days for the incident, but Cassity will not have to serve the suspension as long as he doesn’t break any other rules for a year, according to a disciplinary letter obtained by The Denver Post through a records request.

Cassity was on medical leave at the time of the incident and when the discipline was enacted, and therefore cannot be suspended nor received docked pay because he’s not working, deputy director of public safety Mary Dulacki said.

“The incident with the Arvada Police took place in the presence of not only Deputy Cassity’s children, but more importantly, his grandchildren,” Dulacki wrote in the letter. “Deputy Cassity was uncooperative with the numerous officers on scene and refused to comply with their commands; he was rude, disrespectful and unprofessional towards fellow law enforcement officers; he demonstrated threatening and assaultive behavior when he took a fighting stance and when he lunged at an officer; and he was extremely intoxicated.”

Arvada police responded to Cassity’s home on Oct. 16, 2018, for a report of a family disturbance. Officers met Cassity’s son-in-law who said that Cassity and Cassity’s son had assaulted him, according to the letter. The son-in-law also said that Cassity’s son pointed a gun at him.

Police called Cassity’s phone and asked him to come outside. Cassity came out of the house but stopped in the driveway and refused to come any further, yelling “This is my house!” Cassity lunged at officers and took a fighting stance, according to the letter. The officers then tackled Cassity, who continued to struggle and refuse orders until the officers threatened to shock him.

Cassity continued to be rude and argumentative as officers handcuffed him and put him in a patrol car, according to the letter.

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Cassity was taken into custody and transported to the Jefferson County Detox Center because officers’ believed his level intoxication was a safety risk. He was issued a summons for obstructing police and an arraignment was set for Jan. 7, 2019. But Cassity did not show up to that court hearing and was arrested on Jan. 22, 2019, for failure to appear.

He later told internal affairs investigators that he did not show up for court because he didn’t know he had a summons and therefore didn’t know he had an arraignment set. He pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer on April 9, 2019.

Cassity never alerted the Denver Sheriff Department that he had been arrested or charged. Instead, the Arvada Police Department notified the city.

“When asked if he was familiar with the policy requiring him to notify the Department, he responded, ‘I am but at the time that all this was going on, I was not in the right state of mind,’” the letter states.

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