A Trinidad man was charged Thursday, March 18 for criminal impersonation after the Trinidad Police Department secured a warrant for an incident that occurred last November.

Trinidad Police Department officials responded to a call November 21, 2020 after receiving a report about a “male party,” Damian Uriah Gradeless, allegedly trying to steal a vehicle.

The alleged victims in the 2020 incident told police at the time they did not want to press charges for the alleged auto theft, but that they wanted to get him to a detox center.

When officers asked for Gradeless’ identification, he allegedly misidentified himself as Uriah Gonzales.

When officers ran Gradeless’ information through the NCIC/CCIC databases as Uriah Gonzales, TPD dispatch advised them of an active warrant from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office for Gonzales, according to the narrative report for the case. (That warrant was for a different person, as Gradeless allegedly misidentified himself at this point).

Gradeless continued to use the story that his name and date of birth were correct, at which point TPD Officer Phil Romero had dispatch contact Colorado State Patrol to check to see if a trooper in the area could come complete a fingerprint scan. It was found there were no CSP troopers in the area at that time who could assist.

He then was transported to the Las Animas County Jail to scan his fingerprints to confirm his identification.

Due to answering yes to COVID-19 screening questions Gradeless was transported to Mount San Rafael Hospital for medical clearance before being transferred back to the county jail.

TPD dispatch contacted CSP again to see if a trooper could come complete a fingerprint scan. The trooper confirmed the suspect was indeed Damian Uriah Gradeless, born in 1992.

After fingerprinting Gradeless at the Las Animas County Jail officers determined he had an active felony warrant out of the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office for failure to appear for auto theft.

He was taken into custody at that time and remanded in the Las Animas County Jail. Trinidad Police Department then pursued a warrant for criminal impersonation for Gradeless.

According to a source at the County, Gradeless is scheduled to appear at the Las Animas County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 24.

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