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COVID Mask Clash: Tech Darling Charged With Bashing Englewood Officer In Face With Radio

Frank Denbow
Frank Denbow Photo Credit: Park County (WY) Sheriff

A celebrated startup business advisor with an escalating history of violence smashed an Englewood police officer in the face with his own radio after causing a commotion at a local Starbucks when he refused to wear a COVID mask, authorities said.

Frank Denbow, 35, eventually was subdued with help from a good Samaritan, police said.

The attack, captured on video, came just weeks after authorities said Denbow kicked a police officer in Wyoming in the chest and sprayed him with a carbonated energy drink.

An Englewood native, Denbow has been featured on various online business shows and tech sites while attending -- and sometimes speaking at -- nationwide conferences and events.

Just last year, The New York Times called the program developer “a fixture of New York’s tech scene.”

A graduate of Dwight-Morrow High School and Carnegie Mellon University, Denbow interned with Apple before becoming a Microsoft “startup advocate,” according to his bio.

He also founded a platform designed to produce limited-run t-shirts and other swag for startup companies and “influencers.” Denbow said he failed to attract investors, though, and went on to become a “startup advocate” with Microsoft.

Denbow has posted several YouTube videos over the years, including recent clips in which he asks questions at conferences of Richard Branson, the artist previously known as P. Diddy and other successful entrepreneurs.

His serious trouble with the law began early last month in Wyoming.

Police in Cody said they approached Denbow following a series of incidents over several hours, including one in which they said he drove a Jeep onto the patio of a local bar. The Jeep was later towed from a fire zone at a local hotel, they said.

Another incident occurred later that same day at a local gas station, they said, when Denbow was unable to pay for items and caused a commotion.

Yet another report came in hours later of Denbow banging on the windows of a local recreation center and walking into pools with his clothes on, authorities said.

This was followed by a break-in at the lot where the Jeep was impounded. A worker there told police that Denbow was chased away after trying to recover valuables from the vehicle.

Police eventually found Denbow on the street later that day.

“You know what’s about to happen,” Officer Patrick Geraghty said Denbow told him as he shook a can of energy drink that he was carrying.

Denbow then sprayed him in the eyes and mouth and on his uniform, temporarily blinding him, Geraghty said.

As he was being arrested, Denbow kicked an officer in the chest and broke his body camera chest mount, authorities in Cody said.

That wasn’t all.

During his initial court hearing, video-conferenced from a local detention center, Denbow reportedly become progressively more disruptive, berating the judge and prosecutor. The hearing reportedly ended with Park County sheriff’s deputies tackling him.

A judge eventually ordered Denbow released on a $10,000 cash bond.

Then came last week’s incident in Englewood.

City police were called to the Starbucks on East Palisade Avenue shortly before 6:30 a.m. last Monday to “address a report of an unwanted party,” Deputy Police Chief Gregory Halstead said.

Denbow was gone when they arrived, he said.

A manager told them that Denbow was asked to leave because he refused to wear a face mask, Halstead said.

They “wished it conveyed to him, if located, that he was no longer welcomed in the establishment,” the deputy chief said.

Officer Matthew DePetro found Denbow, who “quickly became confrontational and combative,” Halstead said.

A struggle ensued in which Denbow ripped off the officer’s COVID mask, snatched DePetro’s radio after it fell from his belt and struck him the face with it, he said.

DePetro eventually subdued Denbow with help from a good Samaritan and backup officers, the deputy chief said.

Police charged Denbow with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, obstruction and weapons possession. They then sent him to New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus for an evaluation.

A Central Judicial Processing judge in Hackensack released Denbow less than 24 hours later, records show.

Court appearances were pending.

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