Arrest made after altercation at Rainbow Family gathering

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested one adult male on July 16 in connection with a stabbing that took place northwest of Red Feather Lakes off of County Road 73C on U.S. Forest Service land the day before.

Deputies had initially responded to that incident at around 11 p.m. on report of a stabbing. Upon arrival at the incident scene, deputies located four injured parties: an adult female who refused medical attention, an adult male who refused transportation by ambulance but was taken to an area hospital by deputies, an adult male who was transported by ambulance, and Norman Wheatley, 37, who was air lifted by AirLink. Wheatley was arrested and charged with second degree assault, a class 4 felony.

All four parties are believed to be connected to the Rainbow Family, a migrant association of individuals who are known to law enforcement and believed to be holding a gathering in Larimer County through the middle of August. According to reports, this gathering could eventually include as many as 1,000 individuals, but currently it is believed to include about 50 people. At other similar gatherings in adjacent states, people involved in the Rainbow Family are alleged to have engaged criminal activities, including possession/consumption of controlled substances, theft and fraud, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said in a press release.

In conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and other partner agencies, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office will do everything possible to protect the citizens of Larimer County and the environment, and will be actively and aggressively enforcing all State of Colorado statutes and Larimer County regulations. “I want to assure the public that we take this matter very seriously and will do all that is in our power to maintain public safety,” Smith said.

Citizens recreating in the National Forest lands within the county should maintain situational awareness and preparedness by securing valuables and locking car doors, and letting someone know where they are going and when they will return. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 970-416-1985. Anyone who witnesses or is a victim of a crime, or who experiences any other type of emergency, is urged to move to an area where they can contact the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office as quickly as they can and call 911.

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