Cherry Creek lawyer Michael Andre defended Denver's dark side, until he succumbed to his own.
Michael Andre pulled his motorcycle to a stop at a red light. It was his last year of law school at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and he had just left the CU-Miami football game, where he'd been drinking with some friends. It had been a rowdy game—12 players were ejected after a bench-clearing brawl—and top-ranked Miami had eked out a victory. The streets around the stadium were swimming with pedestrians and postgame traffic.
Andre heard a police siren approaching. The officer pulled up to Andre's right and rolled down his window.
"Pull over when the light changes."
Andre looked at the cop, who was only about four feet away. The year before, Andre had pled a DUI down to a DWAI (driving while ability impaired). Getting caught drinking and driving again wouldn't help him pass the bar exam.
Andre punched the throttle.
He cut left onto Colorado Avenue, blowing through the red light and weaving between cars and pedestrians. The cop car tried to give chase but was held up by traffic. Andre cut right, onto Folsom Street. Now two policemen were giving chase on foot. He hit 50 mph as football fans in their Colorado gold and Miami orange shirts dived out of the way. But the crowd was too thick and he lost control of the bike, sliding sideways and wobbling back and forth. He narrowly missed the first traffic barricade; another cop on foot appeared in his way. The cop lunged at him as Andre hit the second barricade and broke off the motorcycle's left foot peg. Uninjured, he straightened the bike and hit the throttle, peeling through a flashing red light at Arapahoe and a solid red at Canyon. He looked in his mirror. No cop cars. He drove to his apartment in North Boulder and parked the motorcycle in his garage.
An officer—the same one who'd tried to pull him over—showed up the next morning, arrested Andre, and brought him to jail. The Boulder County District Attorney charged him with felony vehicular eluding, reckless driving, failure to report an accident, speeding, running a red light, ignoring a traffic control device, and disobeying an officer. An attorney Andre hired plea-bargained away the felony charge, and Andre agreed to plead guilty to three lesser charges. His sentence: a $1,000 fine, two years' of probation, two years driving suspension, and 32 days in jail. The third-year law student would be spending his Christmas break behind bars.
Friday, 2:20 p.m.
The standoff continued. As traffic backed up out to Colorado Boulevard, an officer handed Marie a note to read aloud. The police wanted to record it and play it over a megaphone outside the house.
"Andre, please talk to the detectives," she recalls reciting in a wavering voice. "They're here to help. Kayla and I need you here. There's a detective waiting to talk."
"Her voice was too low," an officer said. "Have her do it again."
Marie read it louder.
The cops took it down the street and played it over the megaphone. No response.
"If he was in the basement," Marie would later say, "he never would have heard the megaphone."