Professional cyclist accused of firing handgun in residential area told police he was just blowing off some steam

Summerhill said that he didn’t realize he was firing rounds in a residential area.

Daniel Summerhill is pictured on his bike in 2013. (Roxanne King/Flickr Creative Commons)
Daniel Summerhill is pictured on his bike in 2013. (Roxanne King/Flickr Creative Commons)
Daniel Summerhill is pictured on his bike in 2013. (Roxanne King/Flickr Creative Commons)

Some days you just need a cold beer or a long walk to blow off some steam; other days you might get a hankering to repeatedly fire your handgun at a hill that’s located in a residential area while you’re out for a bike ride.

Daniel Summerhill, a 28-year-old professional cyclist, told law enforcement officials that he was out for a training ride in Deer Creek Canyon in late February and “needed to vent.” Summerhill did so by allegedly firing handgun rounds into a hillside multiple times, according to a report from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Joe Porter, who lives in the area, captured video of the man who was later identified as Summerhill. Shawn, Porter’s wife, heard “three loud ‘Pops!’ come from the street” when she got home from work at approximately 3:20 p.m. Shawn then went outside and “witnessed him fire two more rounds into the hillside as he rode his bike.”

Shawn told her husband about the incident. Porter followed Summerhill, who was a member of the UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling team, down the road to confront him about it.

When Porter recounted the incident to law enforcement officials, he said that he “had been able to see a handgun in one of the pouches on the back of the male’s jersey … The male initially denied shooting but then admitted that he had a bad day and need to vent, so he decided to shoot.”

Deputy Jeffrey Pederson found three shell casings that were roughly 50 yards apart when he investigated Feb. 22. Pederson, with the help of Porter’s video, identified the shooter/cyclist as Summerhill.

Pederson contacted Summerhill, and the two agreed to meet at a 24 Hour Fitness in Douglas County. There, Summerhill “confirmed that he had been riding his bicycle in Deer Creek Canyon on a five-hour training ride and had needed to vent before he got back to his vehicle.”

Summerhill said that he didn’t realize he was firing rounds in a residential area.

Pederson issued Summerhill a summons for disorderly conduct, discharging a weapon in a public place and reckless endangerment. Summerhill was arraigned Tuesday in a Jefferson County court. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for July 12, according to the Denver Post.

Update, 4:30 p.m.: Jonathan Potter, a spokesman for the Momentum Sports Group, said that Summerhill is no longer a member of the UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling team.

“Momentum Sports Group holds our athletes to the highest standards of ethical conduct and accountability – both on and off the road.  Following an internal investigation, we accepted Mr. Summerhill’s resignation from the team, effective immediately,” Potter wrote in an email. “The personal actions of one individual do not represent the values of our dedicated athletes, sponsors or fans, and we offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who may have been impacted.”

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at cclark@denverite.com.