911 calls from 18-hour Arvada standoff released

Hostage in Arvada was released shortly after 11 a.m. on Feb. 4, 2014. (Photo: KDVR viewer)

A review of the shooting death of hostage-taker Don Pooley during an Arvada standoff in February found the SWAT officer acted lawfully, an investigation determined. (Photo: KWGN viewer)

ARVADA, Colo. — Aravada police released the 911 calls from an 18-hour standoff from earlier this week, in which a 34-year-old convict repeatedly threatens to kill his 13-year-old hostage.

The standoff started around 5:30 p.m. Monday when Don Pooley, a convicted felon who had a warrant for his arrest for parole violation, was trying to evade police after a domestic dispute at a nearby home.

He broke into another home and inside was 13-year-old Connor, who Pooley took as a hostage.

In the 911 tapes, a clearly panicked Pooley threatens the police to move away from the house or he would hurt his hostage.

“I have a hostage and if you don’t tell your people to get the f*** away from where I’m at, he’s going to die,” Pooley said.

Crying can then be heard on the recording, apparently from the hostage, along with a plea “Please, Please.”

Operators tried to calm Pooley down by talking to him and telling him to stay on the phone line.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m hanging up lady. If they [the police] don’t leave, bad things will happen,” Pooley said.

The audio file recorded three phone calls between Pooley and 911 operators. For reasons that are not yet known, Pooley would refer to the hostage as a “little girl.”

In one call, the 911 operator tells Pooley, “Do not hurt that little girl.”

“I’m going to f*** this little girl up,” Pooley said.

“Listen to me,” the operator responded. “We need to work with you. Please do not hurt that child.”

Pooley called FOX31 Denver reporter

During the night standoff, Pooley, who was in contact with his sister, decided he wanted to talk to a reporter. Through his sister, Pooley called FOX31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden.

Arvada police listened to the phone conversation with Hayden and Pooley. In it, Pooley said he wanted police to move back 1 mile and give him a chance to escape.

“Let me try. I just wanna run,” Pooley said. “If you catch me, good. Then you caught me. If not, then sorry about your luck. Maybe another day.”

Police refused to comply with his request, but kept their distance from the home.

Tuesday morning, Pooley asked police to bring breakfast to the house.  When a SWAT team delivered the food, Pooley was shot and the 13-year-old hostage was freed.

Pooley died at the scene.

Boy’s family thanks God, police for ‘safe return’

Connor’s family released a statement Wednesday thanking the community for their support.

“The Ben-Joseph and Scott families would first like to thank God and all of our family, friends and the public for their support and prayers for Connor’s safe return. Our son is safe and home, and our first concern is his care and safety as we try to return to normal life,” the statement said.

“Connor is in good spirits and very happy to be back with his family,” the family added. “His strength and bravery through this ordeal is truly amazing and we continue to shower him with hugs and kisses as we all begin to heal.”

“While this incident may be ending, it will be on-going for us as we work to bring our son’s life and family’s lives back to normal,” Connor’s family said in the statement.


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