Two arrested in knife attack

Bias played a role in stabbing, prosecutors allege


— A 39-year-old Craig man was transported Wednesday evening to The Memorial Hospital after two men, one of them using a knife, allegedly attacked him at the Baker Hotel.

Craig residents Stephen Daniels, 31, and Brett A. Smith, 21, have been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged incident. Smith allegedly used the knife to stab Michael Dewayne Armstrong in the back and arm, Craig Police reported.

Authorities allege ethnicity played a part in the attack against Armstrong, who is black.

The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed criminal charges, which include a felony count of bias-motivated crime, Friday against the two suspects. Smith also faces a felony first-degree assault charge, and Daniels faces a misdemeanor third-degree assault charge.

Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said officers are not commenting on the motive behind the alleged assault. The incident is under investigation, Vanatta said.

Brett Barkey, chief deputy district attorney, stopped short of comparing the bias-motivated crime charge to a hate crime, and instead referred to the charging document.

According to the document, Smith and Daniels caused injury to Armstrong because of "his actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation."

Patient privacy laws limited what information TMH could release regarding Armstrong's condition.

Hospital spokeswoman Samantha Johnston said Armstrong was treated in the emergency room. His injuries were not fatal, she said.

Armstrong was once on the Craig Police Department's most wanted list for failure to comply, first-degree trespassing and impersonating a police officer. He is listed on the department's Web site as having been captured.

According to court clerks, Smith has cases pending for driving under the influence and third-degree assault. Daniels has no criminal history in Moffat County, a court clerk said.

Police responded to the Baker Hotel, 538 Yampa Ave., about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on a report that someone had been stabbed. At the hotel, police found Armstrong with multiple stab wounds.

Witnesses told police about the two suspects, along with their possible first names and descriptions. Based on witness information, Corporal Travis Young and officer Tony Fandel contacted the two suspects at the Craig Motel.

The two suspects were then taken into custody and booked into the Moffat County Detention Center.

Smith remained in custody as of Friday afternoon and was being held on $50,000 bond. Daniels also was in custody, and was being held on $10,000 bond.

They are scheduled to appear in court at 11 a.m. Nov. 27.


Wayne Eller 9 years, 5 months ago

This sound so ironic. We also have an investigator with the DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE that is known to STAB people in the BACK!!!!! Do a yahoo search for JOSEPH DEANGELO and read #4. It is an Indiana State Appelate Court Decision about DEANGELO'S actions there. He solicited a prostitute( a felony),told the accused that he was an attorney (another felony) and violated the accused' Constutional Rights by DISCOURAGING her to not seek legal council. By the way, all charges were dismissed against the female that was the accused. The Court says that DEANGELO was never disciplined for his actions. Yes, ANOTHER CORRUPT INVESTIGATOR gets away with being a CRIMINAL.


dundalk 9 years, 5 months ago

Here here. I can't find what it is your are trying to reference.


Scott Wedel 9 years, 5 months ago or

Basically, Joseph DeAngelo was accused of coercing a woman arrested for selling cocaine to once again take money for sex with another police officer under investigation. Final bit of the court decision granting summary judgment dismissing the woman's claims of damages reads:

for we (the court) cannot say that it would have been obvious to the average officer that the deceit employed in this case rose to the level of a constitutional violation. Hence DeAngelo (and Hannaford, if as we doubt he is still in the case) is protected from liability.

Seems to me that Joseph DeAngelo would have a reasonable case of libel against Justice4All because the court decision flatly states those accusations in the above message are not true.

It is not solicitation to ask someone as part of a police investigation to see if a person under investigation would pay for sex.

It is not illegal to be deceitful so saying "we are the attorneys" is not illegal unless they start practicing law without a license.

It is not illegal to DISCOURAGE someone from seeking legal advice and the woman had THREE days of freedom to consider her options and see a lawyer.

The woman was not charged with selling cocaine, but she had provided the evidence to allow the police dept to fire the officer under investigation even though she failed to cooperate with the criminal prosecution of him.

Obvious lesson is that if you are arrested then get a lawyer before you do or say anything important. Police officers are allowed to be deceitful. Believe them at your own risk.


Wayne Eller 9 years, 5 months ago

Scott Thanks for the help. dundalk and sbvor please see SCOTT'S post above. One correction. It is illegal to say you are an attorney. The same rule applies to one saying that one is a police officer if they are not. It is impersonation per the Attorney General of Indiana. Both are felonies. Yes, deceit is allowed but impersonation or coercion is not.


Scott Wedel 9 years, 5 months ago

Justice4All, But also remember that the judge ruled in favor of a summary judgment in favor of DeAngelo. As the judge states near the start of the ruling, ruling on a summary judgment requires viewing all facts in the best possible light for the other side. So his ruling states everything as if the woman and fired cop was true and then proceeds to state that even then DeAngelo could not be found liable for damages.

Reading the ruling, the woman's case of coercion falls apart because she was free for 3 days to talk to anyone and everyone. You cannot be free and being coerced. The judge also had trouble believing the woman was so ignorant to truly believe that she, without a record, was really facing a long time in jail and saw no reason to talk to a lawyer. The impersonation falls apart because it simply isn't believable that the woman thought DeAngelo and buddy were the attorneys that would prosecute and sentence her.

The legal description of impersonation that I find requires doing something takes basically includes violating the public trust of that protected profession. So you can be in a bar drinking and for the sake of conversation claim to be whatever. It is when you say you are a police officer and tell someone to do something because you are a police officer that'll get you into trouble. Or someone starts telling you something because they think you are a police officer.

I think it is extremely unfair and possibly libelous to call DeAngelo a "criminal". It is factually not true because he was never convicted of any crime and the civil case against him was tossed out in a summary judgment.

I think it would be reasonable to say he has used deceit as part of an official investigation and that the judge found that he bent the rules a bit too far, but not so far that an average officer would have known that it was too far. So it probably can also be said that he violated civil liberties, but it cannot be proven that he knew that is what he was doing was wrong.


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