It was on March 21st when Charles “Gage” Lorentz was shot and killed by National Park Service (NPS) Ranger Robert Mitchell after an altercation broke out between the two [Source: Carlsbad Current Argus]. According to the news source, Lorentz was on his way home to Fruita, Colorado from Pecos, Texas when he found himself driving through Rattlesnake Springs which is located in the southwest portion of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It was during this time that Mitchell had been “responding to a call about a possible unlawful camper in the area.”
In the process of responding to the call, Mitchell claimed he witnessed “a vehicle traveling at a “high rate of speed” on a narrow gravel road toward him into the park.” The Ranger said that as he approached Lorentz, Lorentz swerved out of the way to avoid colliding head-on with the Ranger’s SUV which caused him to hit a road sign on the shoulder of the road. A physical altercation allegedly then broke out between the two which ended with Mitchell firing his weapon at Lorentz. The Office of the Medical Investigator pronounced Lorentz dead at the scene.
Lorentz’s Family Files Claim Against the Federal Government
After Lorentz was killed, his family hired an attorney who assisted them with filing a claim against NPS and the U.S. Department of Interior. The claim was filed on June 26th and alleges that “Ranger Robert Mitchell caused the death of Charles “Gage” Lorentz during a March 21 traffic stop near Carlsbad Caverns National Park.” The claim went on to accuse the Park Service of “negligence, assault and battery, and false imprisonment.” It also accused “the NPS of destroying evidence as 26 seconds were missing from Mitchell’s body camera footage.”
The wrongful death tort claim states that “As a direct and proximate result of Ranger Mitchell’s needless assaults, batteries, failure to provide medical care, and false imprisonment of Gage, in this case, Gage suffered extreme physical, mental, and emotional pain and distress, loss of enjoyment of life and the loss of his life.”
Was your loved one’s life ended on account of someone else’s negligent or careless behavior?
To learn more about how you can obtain justice for the pain and suffering they experienced, contact the Colorado wrongful death lawyers at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC. Given legal action is warranted, the CO wrongful death attorneys at this firm can assist you with filing a lawsuit against the liable party that would help you to recognize the person or entity who is responsible for your family member’s death.
Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:
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Englewood, CO 80110