High Country Crime: Matters of the heart lead to school lockout in Vail
School lockout leaves lads unrequited
Two teenage boys disagreed, reportedly about a girl, and when one threatened to defend his honor through fisticuffs with the other and left his school to do it, school administrators had the good sense to lock the doors.
It’s called a lockout, not a lockdown, said district officials.
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It was around 10:45 a.m. on Thursday when an impassioned young Battle Mountain student offered to set a Red Canyon student straight, reportedly about matters of the heart, and left Battle Mountain High headed toward Red Canyon to accomplish his goal.
School officials decided the wisest course of action was to lock the doors of all of the schools in the Edwards area. People could get out, of course, but trouble could not walk in. As a precaution, law enforcement notified Berry Creek Middle School, June Creek Elementary and Red Canyon High School and requested that those schools implement lockout procedures, until the two lads were accounted for.
Alas, they need not have bothered.
When the Battle Mountaineer got word that the administrators and friends at his school were looking for him, he turned around and went back to his own school.
School district officials said there were no weapons or anything involved, and the whole thing was over in about 20 minutes.
The lockout at the schools was lifted with an all clear just after 11 a.m. Law enforcement and school officials investigated the situation and determined that no charges would be filed, although both boys were counseled about pursuing more productive behaviors in conflict resolution.
All of the schools returned to a normal day.
-Randy Wyrick, The Vail Daily
Hair-raising fight over $20 leads to gunplay
A 42-year-old man got into a fight involving four woman and reportedly pulled a handgun Tuesday.
The man’s daughter had been getting her hair colored at a residence in Silt, and after they left she found that she was missing $20. The 42-year-old man and the two women with him went back to the house, as they believed someone had taken the money out of the daughter’s purse.
Four women, two on each side, got into a fight at the house, and the 42-year-old man tried to get between them. The fight continued, one woman pulling another into the house by her hair, documents in the case said.
The 42-year-old man was fighting with two women on the ground, and at some point he pulled a gun, police were told.
Then another woman jumped on top of him. He punched her in the face and pulled out two locks of her hair, according to a police report.
Police later pulled the man over with two women in his vehicle. All three were injured and appeared to have been in a fight. He had a bloody nose and lip, and a laceration on his hand, according to the police report.
He was arrested on charges of felony menacing and misdemeanor harassment.
-Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
Fired employee keeps company card
For about two-and-a-half months, a recently fired employee of Colorado Pool and Spa Scapes had been using the company’s Ace Hardware accounts, racking up bills in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale totalling more than $5,800, according to police.
The 25-year-old man was fired in December, but he purchased items on the company account from Jan. 13 to March 1.
The company’s management was finally tipped off March 1 when Big John’s Ace Hardware in Glenwood contacted the business about the 25-year-old purchasing a Yeti cooler on the account under another employee’s name.
The next day police were called as the 25-year-old had returned to the hardware store, where he was again trying to purchase a Yeti cooler.
He was arrested on charges of theft, identity theft and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, all felonies.
-Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
Man volunteers for jail, brings drugs along
A local man who’s been in and out of jail repeatedly on drug charges for the past 15 months voluntarily returned to jail last week and allegedly smuggled drugs into the facility, according to court documents.
Kent Muer, 40, showed up at the Pitkin County Jail on Feb. 28, revoked his own bond in a domestic violence and drug case from December 2015 and asked to be booked into the jail, according to an affidavit written by a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy and filed Wednesday in Aspen District Court.
Muer was then searched and booked back into the jail.
The following morning, however, an anonymous inmate told a jail deputy that the evening before, Muer “emerged from his room and seemed to be ‘very out of it’ and ‘passed out’ to the point the subject was worried about Muer,” the affidavit states.
After Muer left his cell that evening to speak with a visitor, a deputy searched the room “and found a lip balm container filled with pills and an unknown white, powdery substance,” according to the affidavit.
The deputy looked up the pills on an internet database and discovered one was Clonazepam and the other was Trazodon. He also found white powder on a desk in Muer’s room and two white chunks “about the size of an apple seed” as well as a comb with powder on it, the affidavit states.
The chunks and the powder both preliminarily tested positive for cocaine, according to the affidavit.
Muer denied the lip balm container was his, though the jail deputy said he was the only one in the room and that cells are routinely checked before a new inmate occupies them, the affidavit states.
Together, the pills and the cocaine weighed 4.7 grams.
“(The jail deputy) said he believed the lip balm container was smuggled in by Muer and the items in the container were Muer’s as well,” according to the affidavit.
Muer has been a regular inmate at the jail since December 2015, when he was arrested for drug possession, assault and domestic violence after a violent incicent with his then-wife at an Aspen hotel. He was arrested last month for possession of drugs and paraphernalia, though those charges were later dropped by the District Attorney’s Office.
“Over the last year, many of my decisions have been horrible,” Muer told a District Court judge in July. “I’ve been mired in the horrible choices I’ve made in the last year. My actions have caused harm to others.”
-Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Don’t leave the seat up
On the morning of Wednesday, March 1, a Breckenridge police officer responded to a report of a break-in at a local business. Upon arriving there for work, an employee had found that the door had been kicked in and the latch bolt was damaged.
Nothing in the office was reported missing and the only thing out of place was the restroom’s toilet seat, which was left up. Police were told that none of the employees at the business ever left the toilet seat up.
There were also splinters of wood matching the damaged door latch in the trashcan next to the toilet. None of the neighboring tenants reported hearing anything suspicious the night before. The case remained open.
-Jack Queen, Summit Daily News
Steamboat men suspected of stealing thousands
Two men from India working and living in Steamboat Springs for the ski season are suspected of defrauding people out of thousands of dollars.
Amar Pinni, 22, was in Denver on Thursday, March 2, when police discovered he had a warrant. He faces felony charges of theft, identity theft and computer crime. Jaswinder Sandhu, 21, is suspected of felony theft. He was arrested Monday in Steamboat.
On March 1, an employee at Wells Fargo in City Market contacted police about suspicious account activity. The bank had learned that Pinni was suspected of committing computer fraud against a South Carolina woman, according to an arrest affidavit.
The affidavit states police uncovered numerous irregular deposits to accounts belonging to Pinni and Sandhu.
Police believe Sandhu defrauded a Pennsylvania man out of $3,000.
Police contacted the man. He said he had purchased “Micro Soft Protection Software” a while ago. He began receiving phone calls stating the software was defective, and he would be issued a $300 refund.
The Pennsylvania man said he spoke to one man with a British accent and a second man with a strong Indian accent.
The Pennsylvania man said he provided his account number to receive the refund because he was told getting a check was not an option.
The man discovered $3,300 was transferred to his account instead of the $300. The man was later contacted and told he needed to send back the extra $3,000.
The man got a cashier’s check and deposited the money into the account he was given.
The man later learned that the original $3,300 that had been transferred to his account had actually been transferred from his own savings account.
Police believe a similar incident occurred to the South Carolina woman.
Police Commander Annette Dopplick said the police department was unsure if there are any local victims.
-Matt Stensland, Steamboat Today
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