High Country Crime: Man high on LSD assaulted Rocky Mountain National Park ranger, authorities say
A man under the influence of LSD was arrested on Sunday, Sept. 10, after he allegedly got into a confrontation with and assaulted a park ranger inside Rocky Mountain National Park, spewing insults, threats and resisting arrest, according to local authorities.
A National Park Service law enforcement ranger responded at around 7:35 p.m. Sunday to a report of a vehicle partially parked on the roadway along Highway 34, near the Ohahu and Green Mountain trailheads, inside the park. A man was found sitting in the passenger seat having “some type of episode,” according to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 12, with the U.S. District Court in Denver.
According to the complaint, the ranger approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and observed a 28-year-old white male cursing, screaming and hitting the window and windshield with his fists. The ranger then requested an ambulance to the location to help with the situation, fearing that the man was under the influence of drugs or having a psychotic episode.
The complaint stated that the man then jumped out of the vehicle and began running away from the ranger, ignoring instructions to stop and return. After running about 50 yards, the man stopped and began walking back toward the ranger, shouting threats.
The man continued to approach the ranger with his fists balled near his face, in what the ranger identified as a fighting stance, according to the complaint. The ranger attempted to subdue the man with his Taser, though it did not fire. The ranger then punched the man in the face, struck him twice on the left leg with his service baton and was finally able to subdue him.
The man was then transported to Middle Park Medical Center in Granby to relieve his drug intoxication. He was charged with assault and impeding or resisting a federal officer.
Following the incident, the rangers located the driver of the vehicle the man was originally seen in. The driver indicated that he and the man had been hiking on the Colorado River Trail when the man told him that he had ingested LSD, a powerful psychedelic drug, and that the man also assaulted him.
The driver told rangers that he had been driving when the man, sitting in the passenger seat, began hitting him on the shoulder, and eventually put him in a chokehold. The driver was able to stop the car and free himself. He pepper sprayed the man in the face, flagged down another vehicle for help and took off.
-Sawyer D’Argonne, Sky-Hi News
Gun incident at La Plata Peak trailhead linked to string of auto burglaries
Two men arrested for pulling a gun on a man sleeping in his car at a popular trailhead near Twin Lakes last weekend allegedly burglarized five or six cars between there and Utah, according to law enforcement documents.
A search of the men’s hotel room in Lakewood — where they were caught Saturday, Sept. 9— turned up a “very realistic” BB gun as well as women’s clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, “random shoes,” backpacks with sports equipment, a set of golf clubs, multiple cellphones and chargers, electronic tablets, multiple screwdrivers, knives and a pry bar, according to an arrest warrant affidavit from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Also found were more than 40 gift cards valued at about $1,000.
Duane Sandridge, 49, of Durango or Silt or Salt Lake City, and William “Billy” Putnam, 25, of Salt Lake City, were being held at the Lake County Jail, according to a statement from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown.
At about 3:50 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, a 29-year-old man parked at the La Plata Peak trailhead parking area called emergency dispatchers to report that two men pulled a gun on him, according to the affidavit.
The man said he’d been lying down in the back of his pickup with a camper shell on the back when he felt the truck shake, according to the affidavit. At that point, he saw someone looking into his car but laid back down again, the document states. Not long after, he felt the truck move again.
“The second time he looked and saw a white male ‘rifling through the cab portion of his truck,’” according to the affidavit. “(The man) exited his vehicle and ‘confronted the guy.’”
The man said Sandridge and Putnam were surprised at his presence and jumped into a white Jeep Patriot, the affidavit states. The man then opened the Jeep’s driver’s door “to address the men,” according to the document.
“(The man) said that (Sandridge) then ‘reached over and grabbed a gun and pointed it at me,’” the affidavit states. “(The man) said (Sandridge) said, ‘I’ll shoot ya two times.”
When caught at a motel in Lakewood, Sandridge “spontaneously” told a police officer he knew why he was being contacted and that “some guy thought I was breaking into his car,” the affidavit states. He said he had grabbed the gun to move it when he got into the Jeep after the man surprised him, but didn’t point it at the man, “so I really am the victim,” according to the document. Sandridge later said he never entered the man’s vehicle.
They were each charged with aggravated robbery, menacing, criminal trespassing, aggravated motor vehicle theft, conspiracy, possession of burglary tools, prohibited use of weapons, reckless endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Lake County statement.
-Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Stolen mountain bike quickly recovered in Glenwood Springs
Glenwood police the afternoon of Aug. 30 responded to the theft of a $2,800 mountain bike from Canyon Bikes.
An officer was in traffic near the Glenwood Springs Mall at the time and saw three people sitting by an electrical box, behind which was a mountain bike matching the given description.
One of the men was a 57-year-old drinking from a can in a paper bag, which the officer suspected to be alcohol. The officer told him he couldn’t drink beer there, and the man agreed to pour it out. The officer then found he had a restraining order barring him from drinking, and he arrested the 57-year-old on that violation.
The 57-year-old said that he saw a kid riding the bike, who then left it next to the electrical box. The owner confirmed it was his bike, and a witness said she’d seen the 57-year-old riding the bike.
He was arrested on felony charges of second-degree burglary and theft, as well as misdemeanor violation of a restraining order.
-Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
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