Allied Universal could lose ability to operate in Denver after unlicensed security guard shot at fraud suspect

One of the largest security companies in the world could lose its license to operate in Denver after one of its guards fired his gun while chasing a woman who tried to use a stolen ID.

The guard was working at a Bellco Credit Union on March 23 when a woman tried to use a stolen ID. The guard couldn’t stop the woman on the property and she got into an SUV parked nearby.

The guard fired at the vehicle because he thought the driver was trying to strike him, according to documents from the Denver Department of Excise and Licensing. The bullet struck the vehicle’s engine, but did not disable it, and the suspect left the scene.

The guard, William Garner, worked for Allied Universal but was not licensed to work as a security guard in Denver nor was he licensed to carry a firearm while working security, the city alleged in the documents. Assistant City Attorney Emily Reisdorph, in the documents, ordered Allied Universal to show why the licensing department shouldn’t revoke or suspend Allied Universal’s license to operate in the city.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. The company is scheduled to appear at an Aug. 31 hearing to defend its license.

Denver is one of the few cities in Colorado that require licensing of security guards and companies. The issue of security guard licensing was thrust into the national spotlight when an unlicensed security guard shot and killed a man at a rally in Denver on Oct. 10, 2020. The guard was charged with second-degree murder but prosecutors later dropped the charge.

Allied Universal, which also uses the name Universal Protection Service, provides security in a number of locations across the city, including Coors Field, public transportation, stores, banks and hospitals.

The company came under fire in 2018 by Denver residents and leaders after three of its guards working under a contract with the Regional Transportation District beat an unarmed man in a Union Station bathroom. The three men pleaded guilty to criminal charges connected to the incident, which led to a civil settlement.

RTD continues to contract with Allied Universal and in June extended its $20 million contract for another year.

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