High Country Crime: Aspen cop-kicker sentenced to probation
A local homeless man with a history of violence against police was sentenced on Thursday, June 29, to four years probation for assaulting two Aspen police officers on separate occasions in 2015.
Landin Smith, who has been incarcerated at the Pitkin County Jail for most of the past two and a half years, also will have to spend as many as 90 days in jail until he is accepted into an in-patient treatment facility, according to the sentence handed down by District Judge Chris Seldin.
Smith pleaded guilty to two felony counts of assault on a police officer in February 2016, but balked three months later when he claimed his lawyer hadn’t properly advised him of the consequences of the plea. He withdrew that plea and several months later pleaded not guilty to the charges by reason of insanity.
However, doctors at the state psychiatric hospital and a private psychiatrist found him sane, so he withdrew that plea in early June. Smith also has been found competent to stand trial twice.
Smith pleaded guilty June 2 to one felony count of assault on a police officer and one misdemeanor count of assault, also on a cop. The District Attorney’s Office agreed not to ask for prison in his case.
While on probation for the next four years, Smith must be on a sobriety monitoring program, abstain from alcohol and drugs and undergo a substance abuse and mental health evaluation, according to Seldin’s order.
Smith attacked an Aspen police officer in February 2015, who was driving him to a detox facility. In December, after he briefly posted bond and got out of jail, Smith was arrested again for being drunk and disorderly at the Aspen homeless shelter and kicking an officer at the jail.
Smith also spent three years in prison for kicking another Aspen officer in 2009. A month after he was released from that sentence, he returned to Aspen, kicked another officer and was sentenced to six months in jail.
—Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Woman kicks, whips officers
Glenwood Springs police responded to Valley View Hospital, where a 25-year-old woman was reported for “causing a large disturbance and … becoming more and more aggressive” Monday evening, July 3.
Security at the hospital reported that the 25-year-old’s friends brought her in for intoxication. However, she became aggressive in the hospital and she was refused service and told to leave. She “then continued to cause a scene and was screaming obscenities and flailing around on the ground,” according to an arrest report.
To avoid trespassing charges, her friends called the 25-year-old’s mother to come retrieve her.
“We all patiently waited for her mother to arrive for approximately 15 minutes; all the while (she) was flopping around in the flower bed and on the driveway while screaming nonsense,” an officer wrote in his report.
However, when the mother arrived, she continued being uncooperative and aggressive. The officer eventually stepped in and told the 25-year-old that she needed to leave or she would be charged with trespassing. She responded by screaming obscenities at the officer and making suicidal statements.
While being arrested, she kneed an officer in the groin and later kicked the officer in the leg. At the jail, while changing clothes, she tried to hit a detentions deputy with her shoes and she whipped the deputy in the ear with her pants, according to police.
The suspect was arrested on three counts of felony second-degree assault on law enforcement, along with misdemeanor resisting arrest and petty offense third-degree trespassing.
—Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
Transient man throws tantrum after bond set at $10K
Jailers had to put a transient man in a restraint chair Thursday, June 29, after Judge James Garrecht set his bond at $10,000.
Clifford J. Mortensen, 56, was advised of his rights via a video feed, and he started shouting expletives at Garrecht when it became clear Mortensen would be spending Independence Day at the Routt County Jail.
“I can’t afford that,” Mortensen said. “I’m homeless.”
Mortensen, who said he lived in Leadville for 40 years, is suspected of biting a Hayden Police Department officer and was arrested on suspicion of felony second-degree assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, two counts of disorderly conduct and theft.
On Wednesday, police responded to Kum & Go, where Mortensen was suspected of stealing cleaning wipes.
When confronted by police, Mortensen became extremely upset and began to yell and swear at the clerk and patrons at the business, according to an arrest affidavit.
Mortensen was given the chance to pay for the wipes, but he continued to yell and swear, the affidavit states.
It further states that police told Mortensen he was under arrest for theft and disorderly conduct, and he became combative.
While being driven to Routt County Jail, he became violent, and he began to kick the cage and protective glass, the affidavit states.
At the jail, Mortensen said he was injured, and he was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where he yelled and swore at staff, according to the affidavit.
Police put Mortensen back in the car, and while an officer was putting on Mortensen’s seat belt, Mortensen bit the officer on the arm, according to the affidavit.
During court, Mortensen said he was visiting family in Craig, and he was in the process of walking to the Pacific Ocean while carrying a flag.
—Matt Stensland, Steamboat Today
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