Man sentenced for striking BLM officer in the face

A Colorado man was sentenced to six months in federal prison Tuesday for assaulting a Bureau of Land Management officer last summer in San Juan County, near Silverton.

Jeffrey Brondum, 28, of Clifton, apologized for the incident but made no apology to the federal ranger who he assaulted. It was a detail Magistrate David L. West noted before handing down the sentence Tuesday morning in federal court in Durango. Brondum was immediately taken into custody to begin his sentence.

The incident occurred July 6 while Brondum was riding an all-terrain vehicle on the Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway (County Road 2).

BLM rangers Logan Briscoe and Tyler Fouss were patrolling the road when they saw three ATVs pass. One had an expired 2011 registration sticker, and the other two had no registration, according to an arrest affidavit.

Briscoe activated his emergency lights and stopped the group. Brondum was unable to produce a valid permit or registration for his red Honda ATV, according to the affidavit.

Briscoe said he would cut the group a break and issue only one violation for failure to produce registration. Fouss asked who was responsible for the two unregistered ATVs, and Brondum claimed responsibility. Fouss asked Brondum to produce identification, and Brondum walked away, according to the affidavit.

“I immediately noticed Brondum’s demeanor change from compliant to directly defiant,” the affidavit says.

Brondum mumbled something that included an expletive.

The entire exchange was recorded by a microphone and a video camera attached to the ranger.

Brondum climbed on his ATV and grabbed the handlebars as if he was about to leave.

Briscoe approached the ATV from the front and ordered Brondum to step off the vehicle. Through clinched teeth, Brondum said he was going back to camp, according to the affidavit.

Brondum put the ATV in gear and moved it slightly while Briscoe was standing in front of it. Both officers grabbed his arms and struggled to remove him from the vehicle.

Officers eventually took Brondum off the vehicle. He spun around and hit Briscoe in the right side of the head.

The rangers forced Brondum to the ground and struggled to handcuff him.

While on the ground, Brondum continued to struggle and made repeated attempts to grab Briscoe’s groin area.

Brondum was eventually restrained and taken to jail by a San Juan County Sheriff’s deputy.

In addition to serving six months in prison, Brondum will be on supervised release for one year. As a condition of his release, he must receive mental-health treatment and substance-abuse treatment. He also is prohibited from being on BLM, U.S. Forest Service or U.S. National Park Service lands for one year.

shane@durangoherald.com

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