One of the men accused of handling a pellet gun designed to look like a revolver in the middle of downtown Boulder last year was sentenced to probation on that case, but will be headed to prison on an separate case.
Anthony Chavez, 49, pleaded guilty to felony menacing in February and was sentenced to two years of probation by Boulder District Judge Bruce Langer on Friday.
But Chavez will first have to serve a four-year prison sentence on a check fraud and officer assault case in which Chavez was also sentenced Friday.
Chavez will serve parole on that case at the same time as his probation in the menacing case.
Chavez’s co-defendant in the case, Kirill Kiefel, pleaded guilty and received a jail and probation sentence in September.
According to an arrest report, witnesses called police on Aug. 19 when they saw Kiefel hand a revolver and casings to Chavez in front of Lindsay’s Deli, 1148 Pearl St., on the walking portion of the Pearl Street Mall. Chavez then began loading the gun and put it into his waistband before briefly putting on a Guy Fawkes-type mask before taking it off.
Two police officers arrived on scene and found the men crossing Broadway and heading west on the mall. The officers drew their weapons and ordered both men to the ground before handcuffing them without incident.
One of the officers found the gun on Chavez, who said it was a pellet gun. The officer confirmed it was a pellet gun, but also noted the gun was designed to look like a real revolver, with the pellets being loaded into brass casings which were then placed in the cylinder of the revolver.
The mask was also found in a rolling suitcase Kiefel was pulling.
Witnesses told police when they first saw the incident, they were afraid Chavez was about to start a mass shooting, according to the affidavit.
Boulder Deputy District Attorney Erica Baasten said Chavez has claimed he was only “testing the boundaries of open carry,” but said the facts of the case did not support that.
“This caused a family and other people around the business to think that they were about to be victims of a shooting,” Baasten said.
Chavez said that at the time he was off his medications and suffering from delusions and psychotic episodes.
“I am an asset to this community when I’m sober and on my medication,” he said.
While Langer said he would take into account Chavez’s substance abuse and mental health issues, he said he also had to take into account the impact on the community in crafting a sentence.
“People close by had every right to be extremely frightened by what they were seeing,” Langer said.