Jordan Steinke, a Colorado police officer who placed a handcuffed suspect into a police SUV that was subsequently struck by a train, has been sentenced to supervised probation and public service, according to her attorney, Mallory A. Revel. Steinke will serve 30 months of supervised probation and complete 100 hours of public service.
In July, Judge Timothy Kerns found Steinke guilty of reckless endangerment and third-degree assault but acquitted her of a felony charge of criminal attempt to commit manslaughter. The judge emphasized the substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm created by placing a handcuffed person in the back of a patrol car parked on railroad tracks.
The incident occurred during a traffic stop in Weld County, Colorado, in September, when Steinke pulled over Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, suspected of brandishing a gun in a road rage case earlier that evening. Steinke placed Rios into the patrol car of Platteville police officer Pablo Vasquez, who had parked in the middle of a marked railroad crossing.
Video footage showed Rios screaming for help as the train approached and struck the vehicle. Despite suffering nine broken ribs, a broken arm, and other injuries, Rios survived the crash.
During her sentencing, Steinke expressed empathy for Rios and her family, acknowledging the physical, emotional, and psychological pain they had endured. Rios' attorney also conveyed that Rios did not insist on Steinke serving jail time but rather felt sorry for her.