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Bike fitter and former Colorado Cyclist manager dies in police custody

Published May 29, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — A former Colorado Cyclist product line manager died after a confrontation with police responding to a neighborhood disturbance call on May 24.

According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Colorado Springs officers responded to a call from a neighbor in the 2700 block of Ashgrove Street about an armed man, Chad Burnett, 49. After briefly speaking with Burnett, officers attempted to place him under arrest. Resisting, Burnett was Tasered but continued to struggle until officers finally constrained him. Burnett then became unconscious, and CPR was administered until medical personnel arrived.

Burnett was pronounced dead at the scene, and the El Paso County Coroner's Office will determine the cause of death. The five officers involved were not hurt and have been placed on administrative leave while the El Paso Sheriff's Office investigates. As of Friday afternoon, the investigation was continuing, a sheriff's office spokesperson told BRAIN.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Burnett had a knife. Two of Burnett's cousins sought restraining orders against him in May, citing threatening behavior, according to The Gazette.

Burnett left Colorado Cyclist last November to start a mobile bike-fitting business, Chaz Pro Bike Fit. 

"Chad will be missed," said Scott Montgomery, founder and president of CrankTank consulting. "Such a tragedy. He was passionate about cycling and well known in the Colorado cycling community."

On the Chaz Pro Bike Fit website, Burnett said he was a 20-year industry veteran.

"I've seen a lot of changes in the technology of both road and off-road bicycles," he wrote. "Working for Colorado Cyclist, one of the largest bicycle companies in the U.S., I was personally able to see advancements in the geometries for mountain bikes, and the evolution for disk brakes on high-end road bikes. We've come a long way to say the least. The sheer power and performance that today's athletes are able to produce with these bikes is incredible. I feel honored and privileged to be a part of it."

Chad Burnett died in police custody on May 24. Photo from

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