Slaying Suspect Worked at Hickenlooper Eatery
April M. Washington and Sarah Langbein, Rocky Mountain News (Denver), May 11
A man suspected in the killing of a cop and the target of a massive manhunt worked with false documentation at the Cherry Cricket, a restaurant co — owned by Mayor John Hickenlooper, police said Tuesday.
Raul Garcia-Gomez, 19, an illegal immigrant, failed to show up for work Monday morning at the restaurant in the Cherry Creek retail district after the fatal shooting of police Detective Donald Young and the wounding of Detective John Bishop early Sunday morning.
Lee Driscoll, the mayor’s business partner, said Tuesday that the company learned last month that Garcia-Gomez provided the restaurant with two forms of identification, but the Social Security number he provided turned out to be false.
Driscoll said Garcia-Gomez’s name was on a list he receives annually from the Social Security Administration. It indicated Garcia-Gomez’s information did not match its records.
Cherry Cricket managers told police that Garcia-Gomez presented a resident-alien card when he applied for the job, according to a police source close to the investigation. The card was handed over Monday and gave the police their first photo of the suspect — albeit an unclear one.
“You could see that this card was fake,” said the police source, who added that the card was falling apart and typewritten.
Police continued to stake out the Cherry Cricket on Tuesday to see if Garcia-Gomez would be brazen enough to return for a paycheck he hadn’t picked up.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo on Tuesday blasted the Hickenlooper administration’s handling of the case.
The Littleton Republican said U.S. immigration officials should have been contacted after each of three traffic citations issued to Garcia-Gomez in Denver because police could not confirm his legal status.
“Denver’s sanctuary policy prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters, despite federal law which explicitly prohibits such a policy,” Tancredo charged in a news release.
More on this story.
(Posted on May 11, 2005)