Man accused of driving into crowd at Golden bar was on parole

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
This early Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, photo provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office shows the scene of a fatal vehicle attack in Golden, Colo. Colorado authorities say a man drove a pickup truck through a crowd following an altercation outside a bar.

By Colleen Slevin/AP

A man accused of driving into a crowd outside a Colorado bar after a fight, killing one person and seriously injuring four others, was on parole from prison at the time, according to court documents released Monday and authorities.

Ruben Marquez, 29, was released from prison in May after serving nearly three years for "aggravated motor vehicle theft, attempted escape, and a weapons and drug charge," said a state Department of Corrections spokesperson, Annie Skinner. He was required to serve a mandatory two-year parole sentence, she said.

Marquez appeared by video from jail during a brief court hearing Monday to be advised of the possible charges he faces for ramming a white Silverado pickup truck into patrons and employees of the Rock Rest Lodge early Sunday in Golden, west of Denver. He was not asked to speak. Judge Jennifer Melton said he would have to remain behind bars because he'd been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

Marquez was represented by a lawyer from the public defender's office, which does not comment publicly on cases.

Seven people were injured when they were hit by the truck, with four taken to the hospital, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said. Three remained in the hospital Monday but all were expected to survive, sheriff's spokesperson Jenny Fulton said.

The man who was killed was identified by the sheriff's office as 27-year-old Adrian Ponce. His brother was one of the four people taken to the hospital, along with two bar employees and a bar customer, according to the arrest affidavit for Marquez.

According to the affidavit, some witnesses said they thought the fight may have started over something to do with gangs and one described some “light-hearted banter” about gangs inside the bar earlier, as Marquez and two cousins celebrated a birthday. However, investigators have not confirmed the episode was related to gangs, Fulton said.

One of Marquez's cousins, who owns the truck Marquez is accused of driving into the crowd, told investigators some men approached him as he was leaving the bar and asked him what his gang affiliation was, causing him to get his cousins and leave, only to be confronted by the same people and others outside, the document said. He is accused of being an accessory to first-degree murder.

Prosecutors have until Friday to file charges against both men.