A Colorado Springs police officer pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he broke the law when he shot at an armed home-invasion suspect during a chase last April.
Gerald F. Bellow, 54, will face trial March 18 on charges of attempted first-degree assault, a felony, and reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.
An El Paso County grand jury indicted Bellow in July, finding that the 17-year police veteran “unlawfully and feloniously attempted to cause serious bodily injury” when he fired at David Keith Adkins, 30.
The shooting happened April 13 at 5750 Milton E. Proby Parkway, near the entrance to the Colorado Springs Airport, when authorities say Adkins and a second man were on the run after breaking into a home downtown and pistol-whipping a resident.
The grand jury concluded that Bellow didn’t announce himself and didn’t have evidence of an immediate threat when he fired “several shots” into a pickup where Adkins was hiding. Adkins was armed but dropped his weapon before the shooting.
Adkins wasn’t hit. He was arrested later that day on suspicion of 10 felonies related to the burglary and chase. He was re-arrested in late September on suspicion of committing four armed robberies while free on $25,000 bond.
In setting Bellow’s trial, 4th Judicial District Chief Judge William Bain also ruled Wednesday that the grand jury was presented with adequate evidence of a crime.
Bellow joined the Colorado Springs Police Department in January 1991 and is assigned to the Colorado Springs Airport. He was placed on paid administrative leave after the indictment was announced.
Bellow is due back in court Jan. 23 for a motions hearing.