BOULDER, Colorado - Boulder police say a convicted sex offender has been stabbed by a masked attacker for the second time in eight days.
Police say 26-year-old Zachary Meints told investigators he was stabbed by a male assailant wearing a bandana over his face as he walked in downtown Boulder just before 3 p.m. Tuesday.
He said he couldn't identify the attacker who thrust a folding knife into his abdomen in the 2100 block of Pine Street.
Meints told police he tried to spray the attacker with pepper spray, but believed he missed. The attacker fled toward to the east and officers searched the area without success, police said.
"Meints drove himself to a local emergency room for treatment. The wound does not appear to be serious," Boulder Police spokeswoman Kim Kobel said in a news release on Tuesday night.
The attacker was described as a white man who was wearing a black-and-white bandana over his face and a long-sleeve black shirt. He was 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighed about 175 pounds.
"Police feel that this is not a random attack, but was intended toward the victim. Investigators do not believe there is a threat to public safety," Kobel said.
Meints told police he'd been stabbed in a similar attack last week.
On the afternoon of March 31, Meints told sheriff's deputies a masked assailant stabbed him twice in the back outside his Lafayette home.
In that attack, Meints called 911 at 2:30 p.m. and told the operator that he was jumped from behind by a male dressed all in black as he arrived home at 679 Snowpeak Lane, according to Boulder County Sheriff's Cmdr. Heidi Prentup.
Police, deputies and K-9 units searched the Lafayette neighborhood, but did not find the assailant, but an officer found a knife.
About a week earlier, Prentup said, Meints was sent a threatening letter. The home was also burglarized.
In 2012, Meints, a former Boulder youth hockey coach, pleaded guilty to one count of felony Internet sexual exploitation. He admitted sending sexually explicit texts and Facebook messages to boys he was coaching in the youth hockey program. None of the players said Meints made physical advances.
Meints was sentenced to 10 years of intensive sex offender probation, but avoided jail time.
In pleading for a more lenient sentence, defense attorneys told the judge that Meints was abducted and sexually assaulted at gunpoint when he was in sixth grade, the Boulder Daily Camera reported. Meints' abductor warned him he would kill his family if he ever told anyone, so he kept it secret until after he was arrested in December 2011 in the Internet sexual exploitation case, according to his attorneys.
Law enforcement officials said it's not clear if the knife attacks on Meints are linked to his sex offense.
Registered sex offenders such as Meints don't live in secret. Meints is listed as a registered sex offender at that home. Their address and appearance is part of the public record. ..Source.. by Alan Gathright
Sex offender Zachary Meints stabbed, search under way for masked assailant
The former Boulder youth hockey coach who admitted to sending thousands of sexual texts and Facebook messages to children younger than 15 was stabbed twice in the back Monday by a masked assailant outside his Boulder County home, sheriff's officials said.
Boulder County sheriff's deputies led a search across the neighborhoods surrounding Snowpeak Lane, off Baseline Road west of Lafayette, but were unable to locate the black-clad suspect, who fled on foot.
Boulder County sheriff's spokeswoman Heidi Prentup confirmed that the stabbing victim was Zachary Meints, 26, a registered sex offender who was sentenced to 10 years of intensive sex offender probation in 2012.
"He said that when he got home, somebody came up behind him and stabbed him in the back," Prentup said.
Sheriff's officials have not said whether they believe the stabbing is related to Meints' Internet sexual exploitation conviction.
Investigators located a knife Monday, but Prentup said they're not yet sure whether it was the weapon used in the stabbing. She also confirmed that Meints had been the target of a recent threat, which she declined to discuss.
Prentup said Meints told investigators he was getting out of his car at 2:30 p.m. and was headed toward the house at 679 Snowpeak Lane — where he lives with his parents — when someone stabbed him in the back.
Sheriff's officials said Meints was transported to Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, although when contacted later in the day, hospital officials said he was not listed as a patient.
Prentup said Meints survived the stabbing, but she was not aware of his location.
Meints told sheriff's officials that the suspect was a male wearing a black hoodie and a black mask.
Deputies with search dogs combed the area after Meints said the suspect ran from the scene on foot.
Sheriff's officials said Meints' home was burglarized earlier this week, but it's not yet known whether the two crimes are connected. Prentup said the suspect in Monday's stabbing did not enter the house.
Boulder County records show the house is owned by Michael Meints and Marcia Siegel, and that address also is listed as Zachary Meints' place of residence on the sex offender database.
Meints, who was fired from his coaching position with the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders 15-and-under hockey team after an investigation was opened in September 2011, pleaded guilty in May 2012 to one count of Internet sexual exploitation. The class four felony carried a presumptive sentence of two to six years in prison.
The Boulder County District Attorney's Office said an investigation uncovered extensive sexual communication Meints had over two years with youth members of the Boulder Hockey Club while he was a coach there.
In August 2012, Boulder District Judge D.D. Mallard sentenced Meints to 10 years of sex offender intensive supervised probation, which includes close monitoring of his personal relationships and regular polygraph tests to ensure he is not acting in a hypersexual way.
He is required to register as a sex offender for 10 years beyond when his probation is completed.
Four parents of Meints' victims spoke at his sentencing hearing, focusing on how the former coach violated their trust and the trust of their children, an aspect of the case Mallard referred to when handing down her sentence.
"(Your players) see you at the rink and you're friendly, you're their coach they look up to you, and then at night they're getting these very graphic Facebook messages about sexual conduct," Mallard said. "You just mixed a lot of good and bad things for them." ..Source.. by Mitchell Byars