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Man accused of throwing improvised explosive device set for hearing on possible new attorney

Mark Szyperek (Boulder County Sheriff's Office)
Mark Szyperek (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

A man accused of taping a road flare to a propane tank and throwing it at people outside a Boulder fire station is set for a hearing to determine if he should be given a new attorney.

Mark Stephen Szyperek, 59, is charged with attempted first-degree murder after deliberation, four counts of attempted first-degree murder – extreme indifference, use of an explosive device in a felony, possession of an explosive device, four counts of attempted fourth-degree arson and five crime of violence sentence enhancers.

Szyperek was set for an arraignment hearing Friday in Boulder District Court, but deputies at the Boulder County Jail said Szyperek refused to virtually attend court, the second court hearing in a row Szyperek has refused to appear for.

Szyperek’s attorney Megan Stewart with the public defender’s office then asked Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill for a hearing to determine if there is cause for Szyperek to be assigned a new attorney.

Mulvahill scheduled Szyperek for a hearing on May 31, and ordered that he be brought to the courtroom in person.

According to an arrest affidavit, police were called at 6:49 p.m. July 5 to a grassy area just west of a Boulder fire station at 1585 30th St.

There, witnesses told police Szyperek had thrown some sort of flaming device at them before firefighters were able to put the device out.

Police spoke to a firefighter who said the device was a road flare that had been taped to a foot-long propane cannister. The firefighter said that had the flare not been extinguished in time, it could have produced a serious explosion.

The witnesses and firefighters at the station said they were familiar with Szyperek, as he lived in the area behind the station. Firefighters told police Szyperek had been throwing rocks at the station the day before.

One firefighter also said he heard Szyperek say he was going to kill one of the other people in the area at the time the device was thrown.

Szyperek was located at a nearby grocery store and arrested without incident.

He remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $10,000 bond.