Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall and Routt County Commissioners discusses changes to policies at the Sheriff's Office.
Steamboat Springs Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall reflected Monday on an Aug. 1 standoff that he said was "the most intense incident" he has encountered since taking office in January.
"It had the potential to be a very dangerous situation," Wall said about the 12-hour standoff with a potentially armed man on Routt County Road 43 southwest of Steamboat. The standoff resulted in the arrest of Brian Simillion, 31, on charges of felony second-degree assault and criminal mischief.
Simillion is accused of assaulting his mother and another man during an argument. Sheriff's Office Investigator Ken Klinger said that after the alleged assault, which began at about 10:30 p.m. July 31, Simillion reportedly left his mother's home for his trailer on the same property. Simillion was suspected of possessing weapons.
Wall said he and eight deputies arrived at the scene within an hour, along with Undersheriff David Bustos and other officials.
The standoff was the first incident of such magnitude since Wall began his tenure as the county sheriff, he said. Sgt. Seth Merrick was first on the scene and led the response to the incident, Wall said.
"They did an absolutely excellent job," Wall said about his staff. "It was the first incident of that type for some other people, too."
No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. Wall said deputies considered multiple options, including using gas grenades, during the standoff.
"We had the whole arsenal, but we decided to wait him out," Wall told the Routt County Board of Commissioners. "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do it."
Simillion was blocked in by three Routt County Sheriff's Office patrol cars and arrested when he tried to leave the scene. He is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court at 1 p.m. today.
Wall spoke about the incident during a meeting with the county commissioners to update Sheriff's Office activities and continue discussions about how county policies relate to Sheriff's Office policies, such as the personal use of patrol vehicles by deputies.
Wall said such use has been misinterpreted as "a blanket use." Deputies will be allowed to use patrol vehicles on personal time only if they are armed, dressed appropriately and not driving with family members, he said, in order to allow deputies to respond to emergency situations and increase law enforcement presence throughout the county.
Wall said he is still assessing his response to a letter and legal brief from the county commissioners, which asked Wall to address his approach to county policies.
"I need to have somebody look at that representing the Sheriff's Office," Wall said. "I'm sure we can work this out."
The board's letter asks for Wall's response by Aug. 17.
Pilot & Today reporter Alexis DeLaCruz contributed to this report.