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Patrolman Harold Bechtelheimer | Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Colorado State Patrol, Colorado

Patrolman

Harold Bechtelheimer

Colorado State Patrol, Colorado

End of Watch: Wednesday, September 14, 1949

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: 4 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .32 caliber

Offender: Both sentenced to life

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Patrolman Harold Bechtelheimer was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle for speeding on Highway 85-87 north of Colorado Springs.

Unbeknownst to Patrolman Bechtelheimer, the two occupants had stolen the vehicle earlier in the evening and had robbed a nearby liquor store. Before Patrolman Bechtelheimer caught up to them the men had stopped due to a mechanical problem with the vehicle.

One of the suspects was looking underneath the front of the vehicle when Patrolman Bechtelheimer approached and was not observed by Patrolman Bechtelheimer. As he spoke with the driver the second man snuck around the vehicle and stuck a pistol in Patrolman Bechtelheimer's back. Patrolman Bechtelheimer spun around and struck the man with his flashlight before being shot in the chest.

Both men, ages 16 and 21, were later apprehended and sentenced to life. On January 24th, 1955, the 16-year-old received another life sentence when he was convicted of stabbing to death a fellow inmate.

Patrolman Bechtelheimer had served with the Colorado State Patrol for just over four years.

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I was six years old when this event occurred. Patrolman Bechtelheimer on many occasions ate at Love's Spring Camp Cafe, where my mom Rita prepared her famous double stack enchilada's. Lee and Marge Love, and their daughter Marge Lee the owners of the cafe were pranksters along with my mom. One day a lizard, don't remember if it was a fake one or real, was put in a sandwich Patrolman Bechtelheimer had ordered. Everyone in the cafe at the time was in on the prank, so needless to say when Harold bit into the sandwich everyone had a big laugh including Harold. After that whenever a Patrolmen would come in for a break or lunch ,my brother David, 2 at the time would run up to them and grab their leg and start yelling Becklheimer, Becklheimer! The whole place would become silent and everyone would tear up... I am now 72, when I would ask the how and why of Harold's demise, as a 6 year old, my parents would become silent and offer no explanation. I now know why...

Edward Arellano
Freind
August 19, 2015

 

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