Aurora man gets prison time for vandalizing Tri-County Health buildings during pandemic lockdown

Pictured: Daniel Pesch. Photo provided by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

AURORA | A 38-year-old Aurora man has been sentenced to a year-and-a-half in state prison for repeatedly vandalizing local Tri-County Health buildings and sending threatening Facebook messages to officials with the agency at the height of the pandemic lockdown last spring.

Arapahoe County Judge James Stuart on Friday sentenced Daniel Pesch to an 18-month stint in the state Department of Corrections after Pesch agreed to plead guilty to the class-six felony charge of criminal mischief related to damage between $1,000 and $5,000, court records show.

Additional felony and misdemeanors charges originally levied against Pesch in the case were dismissed.

For nearly a month last year, Pesch drew graffiti on the facade of the Tri-County Health office at 15192 E. Hampden Ave. and repeatedly threw rocks through the building’s windows, causing thousands of dollars in damage, according to an arrest affidavit filed against him.

Undercover Aurora police officers patrolling the Tri-County Health building on May 8 arrested Pesch in front of the facility shortly after 8 p.m., according to court documents. He resisted arrest and was taken to a local hospital where staffers, “had to administer two doses of sedative to Daniel, because of his combative behavior,” police wrote.

He was eventually released after that arrest and continued to deface the building, writing “A******s watch out!” in Sharpie on the front window three days after he was apprehended.

Throughout April and May, Pesch also sent derogatory Facebook messages to Tri-County Health officials, condemning the agency’s hand in implementing pandemic-related closures.

“Hope you’re enjoying putting small businesses under,” Pesch wrote to one Tri-County official April 11. “Enjoy your broken windows a******s,” according to the affidavit.

He was arrested after eventually agreeing to meet with Aurora police in the department’s main lobby beside city hall in May.

Pesch has remained incarcerated for much of the time since he was arrested last May, records show. He was briefly liberated after posting a $5,000 personal recognizance bond in June 2020, but the status was later revoked after he was arrested on multiple counts of stalking and harassment in Salida in September.

He was sentenced to six years in prison in that case last week after pleading guilty to one felony count of retaliating against a victim or witness, according to court records.

He will be credited with 411 days of time served toward his Arapahoe County sentence, and just more than a year of allotted time in his case out of Chaffee County.

Pesch has a lengthy criminal history in the state spanning more than a decade across Denver, Elbert and Summit counties, court records show.

As first reported by the Littleton Independent, Pesch drew attention several years ago after he falsely confessed to murdering a Kiowa High School teacher in 2010. The murder charges in that case were eventually dropped, but he has an upcoming court date in Elbert County to the settle the matter in which he was sentenced to three years of probation and a day in jail.

Pesch was also accused of serially vandalizing several structures across the metroplex in 2019, including breaking windows at an Aurora bank and church on back-to-back days last September.

He is currently detained at the Arapahoe County jail, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.