A man with a history of homicide and apparently under the influence of drugs was arrested Monday night in Cortez after reportedly waving a loaded gun in his apartment building.
Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputies Brad Ray and Victor Galarza responded about 7:25 p.m. to reports of an armed man causing a disturbance in the 30000 block of County Road L.
Sheriff Steve Nowlin said a deputy crashed a patrol vehicle on the way to provide backup to Ray and Galarza during the incident. He reportedly sustained moderate injuries, and the vehicle was totaled.
Robert Covington, 56, was reportedly found on the second floor of an apartment complex with a fully loaded semi-automatic handgun. He appeared to be under the influence of several drugs, including methamphetamine, according to the Sheriff’s Office report.
According to Galarza’s incident report, Covington came out of his apartment and put down his weapon after deputies shone a spotlight onto his door.
While he was being arrested, he reportedly told the deputies there were people without faces inside his apartment, and said he needed his “Obama phone” to call home before they got him. The deputies searched his apartment and found no one there. They transported him to Southwest Memorial Hospital for medical treatment, and he reportedly had a full conversation with an imaginary person during the ride.
Hospital staff found that Covington was under the influence of amphetamine, meth and marijuana at the time of the arrest. Galarza transported him to the Axis Health System Detox Unit in Durango for treatment before taking him to jail. Before they left, Covington reportedly told Galarza that he was a felon.
He was transported to the detox unit, and his gun was entered into evidence at the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office. Undersheriff Vernon Knuckles said he would remain in detox until a mental health evaluation could be performed.
Knuckles said Covington had been arrested in 1982 and convicted of homicide in Houston, Texas. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, Knuckles said, and had a long history of arrests for drug-related offenses and possession of weapons.
Nowlin said the deputy who crashed his vehicle was at fault, but since he was responding to a disturbance caused by Covington, the Sheriff’s Office might seek restitution.