August 4, 2008 - 11:53PM
A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy appeared in court last week on a felony charge alleging he threatened someone with a gun.
Shawn Moncalieri, 33, was fired from the Sheriff's Office last year after two internal affairs investigations in seven months: one related to a questionable officer-involved shooting and the other involving possible wrongful arrests.
Colorado Springs police officers allege Moncalieri flashed his .40-caliber Glock
(please note said Glock never came out of the holstrer) at business owner Larry Salas in April. Moncalieri faces a felony menacing charge, which carries a maximum three-year prison sentence.
Moncalieri, who works as a private investigator, went to Salas' Prince of Battle silk-screening business at 513 W. Colorado Ave. with disgruntled customer Ricardo Wong, according to an arrest affidavit. Wong and Salas exchanged words after Wong was ordered to leave the store. Salas called police when Moncalieri "placed his right hand on his right hip, indicating the presence of a firearm under his coat,"
the affidavit states. When a police sergeant arrived, he saw "suspect flop the right side of his coat backward to reveal a handgun in a holster." The sergeant took the loaded gun as evidence. Moncalieri told officers Salas threatened him with a knife.
Moncalieri declined comment Monday.
A 4th Judicial District Court judge ruled this year that the El Paso County Sheriff's Office had to hand over the two internal affairs investigations on Moncalieri to The Gazette. A Gazette reporter asked in February and March 2007 to review the files, but was refused. El Paso County Sheriff's officials have appealed the judge's ruling, saying internal affairs reports are not subject to disclosure as criminal justice records.
One report deals with an incident in which Moncalieri shot at a fleeing burglary suspect who allegedly tried to run him over. The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, which investigated the August 2006 incident, determined the shooting was questionable, although not criminal.
The second incident involves a possible wrongful arrest involving two Fountain men that resulted in the county secretly paying each $20,000. The Colorado Court of Appeals has not ruled on the sheriff's appeal.
Moncalieri is scheduled to stand trial on the menacing charge Oct. 27. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bond.