High Country Crime: Snowmass cops say politics lead to violent threat in restaurant
July 30, 2017
Police arrested a Roaring Fork Valley man Sunday, July 16, who claimed to have a gun in his backpack and threatened to "make all of you pay" after a political argument at a Snowmass Village restaurant, according to court documents.
Francis Parente, 28, was charged with felony menacing after allegedly telling another patron at Slow Groovin' BBQ that "he was going to do something great for America and (the patron) should thank him," according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
"The allegation is that he was threatening to shoot people with a gun in his backpack during a pretty intense political conversation," prosecutor Sarah Oszczakiewicz said. "He was using aggressive political rhetoric with people present at the bar."
Parente's attorney, Arnold Mordkin, told District Judge Chris Seldin on Monday his client is a "much in demand" caddy at the Maroon Creek Club who doesn't own firearms. No weapon was found in his backpack, Mordkin said.
Emergency dispatchers received a call from the restaurant at about 10:20 p.m. reporting that Parente said, "You better be careful because I have a gun in my backpack," to a customer, the affidavit states. Police arrived soon after and immediately arrested Parente, who was found in a hallway outside the restaurant's bathrooms.
A customer at the restaurant told Snowmass Village police officers that Parente had been sitting at the bar and "became increasingly argumentative," according to the affidavit.
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"Parente started spewing insults, became more political in his rhetoric and became combative," the affidavit states. "(According to the customer), he said, 'You are all going to be sorry. I'll make all of you pay.'"
Parente later told a bartender, "No one should mess with me. I have a gun in my backpack," according to the affidavit.
Seldin ordered Parente held in lieu of a $500 cash-only bond and forbid him from returning to Slow Groovin' BBQ in Snowmass Village or Marble. The judge also ordered Parente to give up any firearms and ammunition.
—Jason Auslander, The Aspen Times
Motorcyclist kicks flagger
A confrontation at a road construction site July 19 in Rifle ended with a motorcyclist kicking a disabled flagger in the genitals and speeding off.
The man on the motorcycle had been "racing up and down the street recently" around the construction at Fifth Street and Will Avenue, the injured flagger later told officers. An officer wrote that this flagger is "obviously disabled and has a deformation of the spine. The flagger said he has spastic paraparesis, similar to multiple sclerosis, and uses a cane to walk and to stand.
When the flagger signaled him to stop, the motorcyclist yelled at him that he lives on Will Avenue and that he didn't have to stop. "The man on the motorcycle accelerated, lifted his front tire off the ground, dropped the front tire back on the ground and kicked him in the genitals as he rode by," a Rifle officer wrote in his report. The kick carried enough force to send the man to the ground.
The motorcyclist also appeared to be recording the whole incident on his cell phone, according to multiple witnesses. Several witnesses reported seeing him race through the site and kick the flagger to the ground.
"When he fell backwards to the ground he felt extreme pain in his back, abdomen and genitals," and the officer called for an ambulance.
The attacker was arrested on felony crimes against at-risk person, felony vehicular assault and misdemeanor false reporting.
—Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
Tequila-fueled Tinder date ends in robbery
A Tinder date turned into a debacle for a Breckenridge man who said he may have been roofied and burglarized after an encounter initiated on the popular dating app.
The man called the police after waking up early in the morning on July 21. He told officers that he had been communicating with a woman over Tinder for several days before they arranged to meet the night before.
The man said he picked the woman up on the night of July 20 and took her to his house, where the two started drinking tequila. He told police he thought he had been drugged because that was the last thing he remembered.
When he woke up, his cell phone, laptop, skateboard and backpack were missing, and the woman was gone. He estimated the total value of the missing items was $850.
Police contacted the woman at her home in Breckenridge and found the man's backpack. The woman admitted that it belonged to him. She was issued a summons for theft.
—Jack Queen, Summit Daily News
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