Paul Favret is the Colorado businessman accused of pulling a gun on a Hispanic couple that briefly pulled into his driveway after they got lost on the way to a friend’s rehearsal dinner. The victim, Chris Ochoa, told deputies Favret yelled that he would “blow our heads off” and wrote on Facebook that he believed Favret’s behavior was racially motivated.
Favret, who is now facing felony charges, initially denied holding the couple at gunpoint. After a Douglas County deputy showed him pictures that Ochoa’s girlfriend had taken during the confrontation, Favret said he was on pain medication and didn’t remember what had happened, KUSA-TV reported. Favret has also insisted that at the time, he could not clearly see Ochoa and his girlfriend and had been unaware of their ethnicity.
The incident happened at the intersection of Elk Canyon Place and Elk Canyon Drive in Sedalia, a small community located about 30 miles south of Denver.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Victim Said Favret Chased Him Down the Street In a Red Truck, Cut In Front of Him & Then Pointed a Gun
Ochoa explained in a lengthy Facebook post that on June 12, he and his girlfriend were in Sedalia for a friend’s rehearsal dinner. Favret’s house was located less than a mile from his intended location in the affluent Elk Ridge Estates neighborhood.
Ochoa explained that the GPS mistakenly directed him to Favret’s house. Ochoa said he “performed a u-turn in the driveway” and returned to the main road. He then called his friend to get more specific directions to the correct house.
As Ochoa and his girlfriend drove away, Ochoa said a large red truck cut him off and blocked the road. Ochoa explained that Favret got out of the red truck and pulled a gun. He claimed Favret yelled that he was “going to blow our head off” as he pointed the weapon at Ochoa’s face.
Ochoa said he and his girlfriend put their hands in the air and tried to explain that they were simply lost and looking for their friend’s wedding party. Ochoa said they tried to apologize for pulling into Favret’s driveway but that Favret “remained in rage” and “didn’t care about any of our rationale.” Ochoa’s girlfriend called 911 and took a few photos of Favret.
Ochoa explained that the confrontation only ended when his friend arrived at the scene to guide them to the correct house. Favret then returned to his own home.
2. Favret Explained He’s Had Intruders On His Property & Didn’t Remember Pulling His Gun
Favret has denied that the confrontation with Ochoa and his girlfriend was motivated by race. In a prepared statement to NBC affiliate KUSA-TV, Favret explained that he has had a problem with trespassers who enter his property to hunt illegally and that he reacted after seeing a vehicle he did not recognize:
I had no way of knowing the identities of the individuals in the vehicle. I just saw the unknown vehicle very close to the home at a time when we were not expecting any visitors and our property is clearly marked with our address and is about 1/2 mile from their destination.
Favre added that he was remorseful over what had happened and suggested that Ochoa’s side of the story was not entirely accurate:
The Facebook post in question does not portray an accurate version of the events. However, I deeply regret my actions that day.
When interviewed by a Douglas County deputy, Favret initially denied pulling his gun, KUSA-TV reported. According to an incident report cited by Newsweek, the deputy showed Favret the pictures Ochoa’s girlfriend had taken of him. Favret said he didn’t remember pulling his gun and explained that he had been taking pain medication after undergoing shoulder surgery. Heavy has requested a copy of the incident report from the Douglas County Sheriff’s department.
3. Ochoa Said He Initially Hesitated to File Charges Because the Wedding Host Threatened to Cancel the Event If Ochoa Caused ‘Drama’ For the Community
Today I obtained the affidavit that describes “Kelli” telling Chris and his girlfriend she would cancel the wedding if he sought charges. Sorry about the small print here. This discussion was captured on an officers body camera. #9NEWS pic.twitter.com/MKMFPnFEOI
— Jeremy Jojola (@jeremyjojola) July 10, 2020
Ochoa explained on Facebook that he was pressured to shrug off the incident. He said his friend’s aunt, who was hosting the wedding, threatened to cancel the entire event if Ochoa pressed charges against Favret because it would “disrupt the community.” Ochoa said the homeowner had identified Favret as the president of the local homeowners’ association.
Ochoa said he went along with it at the time for the sake of his friend. But he and his girlfriend decided against attending the wedding the next day because they didn’t feel safe returning to the neighborhood.
Ochoa also explained why he believed Favret’s actions were racially motivated:
We found out that there had been 2 other cars that went to the same house because of the GPS directions, yet my girlfriend and I were the only ones that were held at gunpoint for turning around in that driveway. We were also the only minorities in the entire neighborhood where this occurred.
The homeowner decided it was more important to keep the neighborhood where she lived “calm and peaceful” so there wouldn’t be any “drama,” instead of doing what was right and letting me press charges. She decided it was more of an inconvenience for me to press charges than to be neighbors with a man with such rage towards minorities that he is willing to kill them on a public road. I want people to see this man’s face because he got away with putting my and my girlfriend’s life in danger, and members of this community supported him in doing so.
This is for any other person that lives or is in the area of Elk Canyon Estates in Sedalia, Colorado: Paul Savret is a dangerous liability, so please be careful. He needs to be exposed for his actions because it is people like him that make the world we live in the way it is. I truly feared we would die that day for performing a U-turn while on our way to my friend’s wedding rehearsal. It amazes me the level of ignorance that still exists in people, and I hope people at some point understand that behavior like this is unacceptable.
4. Favret Is the CEO of an Oil & Natural Gas Company
Favret is an oil and natural gas executive in Colorado. He is the founder and CEO of Resource Energy Partners, according to a company bio that has since been removed from the site. A screengrab is embedded above.
Before founding Resource, Favret launched another company called Source Energy Partners in Denver. According to his profile on Bloomberg, also founded Aspect Abundant Shale and served as the president of Abundant Investments.
Favret earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Western Carolina University and a master’s degree in geophysics from the University of South Carolina. He also obtained an M.B.A. from the University of Houston.
5. Favret Faces Felony Menacing Charges
Favret is facing multiple charges related to the June 12 incident with Ochoa and his girlfriend. According to the Douglas County Attorney’s office, the charges include:
- 2 counts of Felony Menacing – Class 5 Felony
- Disorderly Conduct – Class 2 Misdemeanor
- 2 counts of Prohibited Use of a Firearm – Class 2 Misdemeanor
Inmate records show Favret surrendered to authorities on July 10. He posted a $50,000 bond and was released.