BRECKENRIDGE - A judge reduced bail from $50,000 to $10,000 for a man accused of stealing a Summit Stage bus carrying four passengers last month.
Witnesses identified Joshua Taylor Mock, an Army veteran, as the man who jumped behind the wheel of the vehicle near Keystone and drove it up Montezuma Road, where it ran off the road and got stuck in the snow.
Mock, 23, is facing charges of kidnapping and aggravated motor vehicle theft.
Public defender Owen Reed said Tuesday Mock's family noticed his behavior changing between his honorable discharge from the Army and the theft of the bus.
"He has been living on his own without the structure of the military," Reed said. "Once he was not in that structured environment issues started to crop up."
Judge Ed Casias agreed to reduce Mock's bail to $10,000, noting his prior military service but instructed him to report to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Junction within 24 hours.
"I don't want you to continue to do these kinds of things that can get you into trouble," Casias told Mock at a hearing Tuesday. "Nobody, thankfully, was hurt in this process, but I think that you did scare quite a few people. We need to figure out why choices like that were being made by (somebody) who in the past had been pretty reliable."
Mock reportedly served 26 months of his more than 3 years in the Army in South Korea. He said he hopes to rejoin the military when his case is resolved.
"I would like to return to the Army eventually when all this is said and done and continue to serve my country," Mock told Casias at Tuesday's hearing.
He waived his right to a preliminary hearing, keeping the door open for plea deal negotiations with prosecutors.
Passengers on the Summit Stage bus called 911 just before midnight Feb. 29, when a fellow rider jumped behind the wheel of the vehicle and drove off while the Summit Stage driver was on a bathroom break. Wearing dark clothing and a black balaclava, Mock allegedly pulled away from the station at River Run in Keystone where the bus was stopped and headed up Montezuma Road.
The bus traveled only a few miles before it slid off the road and got stuck in the snow.
Deputies found Mock soon after walking on Montezuma Road roughly half a mile from the scene of the accident.
He did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Prosecutors on Tuesday said Mock took time in making the decision to take control of the bus. Reed said Mock was certified to drive vehicles larger than the bus while he was in the Army.
Mock is charged with four counts of kidnapping, first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, hindering public transportation and reckless endangerment.
The kidnapping charges each carry a penalty of up to six years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines. Aggravated motor vehicle theft, a class three felony, is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.