The CEO of an Apollo-backed energy company is facing charges for pulling a gun on a Mexican American couple that took a wrong turn near his Colorado home
- A senior executive at a Colorado company backed by Apollo Global Management is facing charges over pulling a gun on a Mexican American couple that took a wrong turn onto his property.
- Paul Favret, the CEO of Resource Energy, may be charged with two felony counts for menacing, two misdemeanor counts for the prohibited use of a weapon and one misdemeanor count for disorderly conduct, according to a spokesperson for the district attorney in Colorado's 18th judicial district.
- Favret's first scheduled court appearance is August 24.
- "After being made aware of this last week, Resource Energy Partners placed Mr. Favret on administrative leave and retained outside counsel to conduct a thorough review of the incident," a company spokesman said.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Updates story originally published on July 10 to add details on Favret's scheduled court appearance.
A senior Colorado energy executive is facing charges for pulling a gun on a Mexican American couple that took a wrong turn onto his property.
Paul Favret, the CEO of Denver-based oil and gas driller Resource Energy, faces allegations of committing felony menacing after he pulled a 9mm pistol on a couple from Florida. The couple mistakenly turned into his driveway while looking for a wedding rehearsal, according to an arrest warrant police issued for Favret that was seen by Business Insider.
"As a minority, I felt in danger," Chris Ochoa, one member of the couple, said in a statement to police.
Favret may be charged with two felony counts for menacing, two misdemeanor counts for the prohibited use of a weapon and one misdemeanor count for disorderly conduct, according to a spokesperson for the district attorney in Colorado's 18th judicial district. Favret is scheduled to appear in court on August 24.
The menacing charge is meant to be used when a person "knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury," and it becomes a felony when it involves "the use of a deadly weapon," according to Colorado statute 18-3-206 of the criminal code.
Favret has been placed on leave, according to a Resource Energy spokesman.
"After being made aware of this last week, Resource Energy Partners placed Mr. Favret on administrative leave and retained outside counsel to conduct a thorough review of the incident," the company said on Friday.
While the couple initially decided against pressing charges, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office patrolman who responded to the incident told Favret, according to the police report, that his actions "constituted felony menacing" which meant he "could very easily be arrested had the victims not chosen to press charges." The couple later changed their minds.
New York-based private equity giant Apollo Global Management and other partners invested $154 million into Resource Energy in 2015 and the private equity firm holds at least one seat on the board of the company that buys up wells and tries to make them more efficient, according to PitchBook.
Favret, when reached on his cellphone, said he had reached out to the couple to apologize for his actions. "It's a big mess here and a very unfortunate, unbelievable set of circumstances that occurred," he said. His lawyer did not return a call for comment. A spokesperson for Apollo declined to comment.
Business Insider pieced this story together from interviews with the couple, a Facebook post on Ochoa's page, the arrest warrant and the initial police report.
The incident took place on June 12, under a blue sky, less than three weeks after George Floyd's death sparked widespread protests and hard questions about whether Black Americans and other minorities can expect the same protections afforded to white Americans.
Ochoa and his girlfriend, Alyssa Eres, were driving to a friends' wedding rehearsal in Elk Ridge Estates, an upscale 540-acre housing development in Sedalia, Colorado with "rolling hills," "beautiful vistas of the Colorado Front Range" and "abundant wildlife," according to the website for Elk Ridge Estates Homeowners Association. Favre serves as president of the association, according to the arrest warrant.
Ochoa was going to be a groomsman to a friend from college, and the couple had just flown into town from the Miami area.
Following their iPhone maps program to the address they thought was the wedding site, they arrived at Favret's home, according to the warrant. The home, a sprawling 7,200-square foot residence with eight bathrooms, sits near the apex of one of the development's two similarly named cul-de-sacs, off the development's main road. It last sold for $1.38 million in 2010, according to real-estate website Zillow.
As the couple pulled their rented red Dodge Durango into Favret's driveway to get a closer look, they quickly realized they had the wrong address. There were few cars in the driveway for an event they expected to draw a crowd. So they quickly backed out, did a U-turn, and called Ochoa's friend for better directions. At least two other cars made the same mistake, Ochoa said in his Facebook post.
Ochoa, 26, was born in Mexico and moved with his family to Colorado when he was five. He moved to the Miami area sometime last year. Eres, 25, was born in New Mexico. Both identify as Mexican American, they told Business Insider in a joint interview this week.
Shortly after their U-turn, and now back on the main road after correcting their mistake, the couple's car was stopped by Favret, who had followed them in his red truck and now blocked their way with his vehicle.
He jumped out of the cab and ran around to Ochoa's open driver's side window, and pointed a 9mm pistol at him, according to the police report and warrant.
Standing near Ochoa's open window, Favret shouted "I'm going to blow your heads off! I want to! Don't expect to trespass and expect to not be shot and get your heads blown off," according to the version of events Ochoa told the police.
The couple was in shock, they said this week.
"Honestly, my first reaction was that this man had the wrong car," Eres said. "I was so confused as to why this was happening. Completely confused and terrified as to why he had a gun."
Favret's version of events differs slightly, and he changed his story once the police confronted him with photos Eres had taken from the passenger side of their car.
The energy executive told police that his son woke him up and told him people were trespassing on his property. He went out to confront them and saw their car pulling away. He got into his truck to follow and when he noticed their out-of-state plates, he called 911. He blocked their way so they couldn't proceed.
Favret initially told police that he his gun remained in his truck throughout the altercation. When the officer showed Favret photos that Eres had taken of him waving the gun around outside, Favret said he didn't remember it because he was taking "potent pain killers for shoulder surgery," according to the officer's notes, and couldn't remember the chain of events.
The photo Eres took "was clearly Paul Favret," according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office detective investigating the case, who said in the arrest warrant that he had already reviewed Favret's state drivers license photo. "Paul was holding what appeared to be a two-toned semi-automatic handgun in his right hand."
At the time, Favret stated that he didn't know if the gun was loaded and "claimed that he was not a gun person," according to the warrant.
Eventually, the friend getting married came to vouch for the couple. It was then that Favret got back into his truck and drove home. Before he left, he turned toward the couple and thrust his middle finger in their direction, the friend told the investigating detective later.
The couple initially decided not to press charges because the owner of the home where the wedding was being held didn't want the incident to affect her relationship with the neighbors, according to police body camera footage detailed in the warrant. She told Ochoa that if he pressed charges, she would cancel the next day's event.
"That would make it very hard for us," the homeowner Kelli McKeehan told Ochoa, according to police body camera footage. "I'm about to call off the wedding for tomorrow," she says, adding "it's going to be hard for us to live here if you move this forward."
After Ochoa's June 28 Facebook post received attention, the couple realized they still had rights under Colorado law. And Ochoa pressed the Douglas County Sheriff's Office to reopen the case.
"Getting justice with Paul would make us feel at least a little bit more at ease since he will understand that what he did is unacceptable behavior, regardless of anything else," Ochoa said. "You can't just pull a gun on someone and walk away and pretend like that doesn't affect people's lives."
The next day was the wedding. The couple, still shaken, didn't attend.
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