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About Mr. Wesley:

Barry Wesley was born and raised in Colorado. He grew up in Bear Creek and has been a talented athlete his whole life. Mr. Wesley is a people person; he spent his teen years babysitting his ten younger cousins, supervising Little League baseball umpires, and interning at the Boys & Girls Club. This led him to pursue a degree in psychology at Colorado State University (CSU) in order to become a guidance counselor. Early in his academic career, Mr. Wesley earned a scholarship as a walk-on for the CSU Rams football team. He started all 24 games the next two seasons, appearing in all five offensive line positions.

At the end of the last academic year in May 2020, Mr. Wesley was honored with the Yates Student Leadership Award, an annual award given to one undergraduate student (among some 27,000) “who displays strong involvement through leadership and a commitment to upholding the university’s values, traditions and spirit.” In his letter nominating Mr. Wesley for the award, Tom Ehlers, the Director of Football Operations at CSU, wrote: “Barry would tell you there is no secret to his success. He lives by this simple statement: ‘Do the right thing; do it the right way, and treat people right while you do it.” Mr. Wesley is currently under consideration for the Wuerffel Trophy, college football’s highest community service honor nationwide that is awarded annually to the player who “best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field.”

During the summer of 2020, Mr. Wesley picked up a job as a door-to-door roofing salesman. On Wednesday, June 10, Mr. Wesley set out with a supervisor, Kyle Farrell, on his first day in the field in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Loveland, CO. The two came upon a house with a ‘no soliciting’ sign on the door. Mr. Farrell knocked anyway, and an older man answered. Seeing the salesmen, 65-year-old Scott Gudmundsen flew into a rage. Mr. Gudmundsen yelled, “What are you doing? Get off my property! Don’t you see the sign? Get the f— off!” A little startled, the gentlemen turned around and walked across the street.

As they approached an elderly couple across the street, Mr. Gudmundsen bolted across his lawn, demanding to see their identification. When Mr. Farrell replied that his ID was in his truck, Mr. Gudmundsen followed with his cellphone raised, filming the vehicle’s license plate, relenting only after inspecting Mr. Farrell’s solicitor’s badge and driver’s license. Mr. Gudmundsen, wearing a hat with an American flag and identifying himself as a former police officer, went on to explain how he thinks there have been “members of antifa, Mexican people in black-and-white cars, building pipe bombs and trying to terrorize the neighborhood.”

After reviewing Mr. Farrell’s credentials, Mr. Gudmundsen returned to his house, yelling to the elderly couple across the street, “Don’t worry! They’re legit!” Mr. Wesley and Mr. Farrell continued on with their day and headed down the street.

The following day, Mr. Wesley came into work and learned that Mr. Gudmundsen had phoned his company that morning and spoken to the branch sales manager; and that, as a result, he and Mr. Farrell were to avoid Mr. Gudmundsen’s street. Mr. Wesley did not think much of this. (Mr. Wesley was later informed that on the call Mr. Gudmundsen had shouted violently and told the manager that he “did not want antifa or Mexicans or Blacks in my neighborhood.”)

Mr. Wesley and Mr. Farrell again left for Loveland, steering clear of Mr. Gudmundsen’s house, to continue on their sales calls. While Mr. Wesley was logging their sales efforts on a clipboard, he spotted a man coming their way dressed in full body armor, all camouflage, wielding a gun with a reflective optic sight.

Scott Gudmundsen was toting a veritable arsenal as he rushed in screaming, “Police! Get on the f—— ground or I’ll kill you!” Mr. Gudmundsen was carrying two guns, two knives, and six rifle magazines of 30 rounds or more; these all together weighed upward of 35 pounds. Mr. Wesley dropped to the pavement and locked his hands above his head. Mr. Farrell initially tried to defuse the situation, pleading with Mr. Gudmundsen to remember their interaction from the previous day. But it was no use. Mr. Gudmundsen replied, “Shut up! Get on the ground!”

Mr. Gudmundsen marched up the driveway past Mr. Farrell directly to Mr. Wesley. Mr. Gudmundsen then knelt on the back of Mr. Wesley’s neck—just as Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department had knelt on the neck of George Floyd two weeks earlier. Mr. Wesley begged for his life, to which Mr. Gudmundsen responded, “I’m not going to kill you. The police are going to do that for me.”

Mr. Gudmundsen kept his knee on Mr. Wesley’s neck and his loaded Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol jammed into his back until a police officer arrived. Mr. Gudmundsen was arrested on two counts each of felony menacing and false imprisonment. Two charges of illegal firearm use and one charge of impersonating a police officer were eventually added, but the District Attorney’s Office continues to refuse to bring a charge under Colorado’s bias-motivated crime statute. Mr. Wesley is still a student and athlete at Colorado State. This near-death experience was extremely traumatizing, and Mr. Wesley continues to live with and adapt to the effects of this trauma every day.