Platteville, CO

Police officer who placed cuffed woman in cruiser and hit by train pleads not guilty

Robert J Hansen
Yareni Rios, 21, was hit by a freight train after police left her in a squad car on train tracks on Sept. 16, 2022.Photo by(Robert J Hansen)

Colorado police officer Jordan Steinke, who put a handcuffed woman in a police car that was hit by a freight train, pleaded not guilty of manslaughter of on Thursday,

This coming  after the second-degree felony assault, the most serious charge, was dropped by prosecutors last week.

Steinke is still charged with felony attempted reckless manslaughter and misdemeanor reckless endangerment stemming from the Sept. 16 incident that left Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, 21 seriously injured.

On Sept. 16, Vazquez pulled over 20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez near Platteville, Colorado, 40 miles north of Denver, in connection with a road rage incident involving a firearm reported earlier in the day.

When the Colorado police officer stopped Rios’ car just past a set of railroad tracks and parked the patrol vehicle on the tracks. 

Steinke, a Fort Lupton Police officer, allegedly put Rios in the back of the car belonging to a Platteville police officer, who is charged with five misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.

The train can be heard as it heads towards the car while police searched Rios-Gonzalez's vehicle. 

The officers can be seen just as they notice the train and clear the area as it smashes into the cruiser, leaving Rios-Gonzalez with serious injuries.

Rios has filed a lawsuit accusing officers of acting recklessly and failing in their duty to take care of her while she was in their custody. 

In the lawsuit, Rios alleges the train tracks were “plainly visible” to the officer who put Rios in the back seat of the squad car.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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