Watch CBS News

Police Don't Believe Vandalism Incidents Preceding Stabbing Of Fire Chief Are Related

By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4)- Tuesday's stabbing of Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade was preceded by two unexplained incidents of vandalism at Denver Fire Department headquarters a week earlier, according to a CBS4 investigation, but police said they don't believe the vandalism is connected to the assault.

Police say Marlene Zacevich-Rodriguez jumped into an SUV driven by Tade Tuesday afternoon then stabbed him several times. Tade had just left fire department headquarters at Speer and Colfax. Police say they don't believe the woman and fire chief knew each other.

Colfax Speer Stabbing (3)
Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade was stabbed on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Zacevich- Rodriguez was arrested and remained in custody at the Denver jail. Tade was hospitalized for stab wounds and released after several hours. Tade was meeting with Denver Police investigators Wednesday to discuss the incident.

CBS4 has learned that on January 11, someone threw a trash can through a front window of Denver Fire headquarters at 745 West Colfax Ave. An assistant chief discovered the damage when he arrived at work at about 4:30 a.m.

Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade
Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade (credit: CBS)

"It appeared that no entry was made," according to a Denver Police report on the incident.

The trash can was found stuck in the glass. A Denver police officer said he checked to see if a HALO camera might have recorded what happened but "none was found or pointed in the direction of the building."

Colfax Speer Stabbing (2)
(credit: CBS)

The following day, January 12, another incident of vandalism was reported at DFD headquarters. At about 6:44 a.m., Denver police were called after a firefighter discovered a sign had been thrown into the windshield of a DFD vehicle parked at headquarters.

"A movable "No Parking" sign had broken the windshield to a white Toyota Prius," according to a Denver Police report on the incident, which was classified as criminal mischief.

Colfax Speer Stabbing (1)
Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade was stabbed on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Police took pictures of the sign that was smashed through the window of the department vehicle.

Both cases are classified as "inactive." CBS4 has asked Denver Police authorities if they believe there is any connection between the vandalism incidents at DFD headquarters and the stabbing of the chief. On Wednesday afternoon police released a statement saying they don't believe the vandalism cases are related to the stabbing.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.