Man in critical condition after assault
BRECKENRIDGE – An early morning assault in the 200 block of South Main Street in Breckenridge Friday left a 36-year-old man in critical condition and put a 21-year-old man behind bars.
Police arrested Michael Scott Dietert, 21, of Breckenridge Friday evening, according to Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman. Local police and Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials are looking for “multiple” other suspects, he said.
The injured man, whose name police declined to release, underwent surgery Friday morning and was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit at St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver.
The incident began around 3 a.m. Friday at Mambo’s, a late-night pizza and sandwich restaurant next door to Creatures Great and Small on the 200 block of South Main Street.
According to witness Leni Williams, who was at Mambo’s with roommates and friends, the injured man called another man a “faggot” and took a swing at him. The bartender asked the victim to leave, but he kept yelling at the second man, Williams said. The bartender then told everyone – including the three men who were with the second man – to leave.
Williams said all those involved left the establishment, at which point Williams, her friends and the bartender thought the men had worked out their differences. According to Williams, the four men then attacked the other man, kicking him and beating him with a helmet.
Police arrived shortly thereafter, at which point the perpetrators had left. It is not known if Dietert was the assailant. The injured man was taken by Flight for Life to Denver with multiple internal injuries.
Crime scene investigators had roped off the sidewalk of the block to Adams Street Friday morning. Blood was evident in the snow outside the Highlands Gallery, about 100 yards from Mambo’s.
Williams said she and her friends didn’t think before leaping into the fray to stop the men.
“We had to make them stop hurting him,” Williams said. “They wouldn’t stop.”
She said all five men “appeared to be locals” and the man who is now in the hospital was “drunk and belligerent.”
“Why would you hurt someone so bad just because of that,” Williams said of the name-calling. “Four on one. And such anger. It was a stupid argument that got out of control.”
She said the four men were accompanied by a husky puppy, and that one of the men didn’t look old enough to buy cigarettes.
“I had no idea they had hurt him so bad,” Williams said. “We kept telling them, “You have to go.’ I just wanted them to stop. They were just kicking him and slamming him with that helmet. He never even bothered to fight back.
“We were really freaked, but they wouldn’t stop hurting him,” she continued. “If we hadn’t come along … I don’t want this guy to die.”
The investigation drew plenty of attention Friday.
Police cordoned off the entire east side of Main Street between Washington and Adams street as photographers took aerial photos from atop a Red, White and Blue Fire Department ladder truck.
Main Street motorists and pedestrians stopped to watch as CBI forensic analysts took samples from the steps in front of Mambo’s and from snow along the sidewalk. Police used a small tent to cover the site under a tree where the victim was left, to protect it from the melting snow falling from overhanging branches.
Businesses along the block were inaccessible from the street and merchants said the obstruction likely would hurt business for the day. Most were more concerned about the violent act, however. Highlands Gallery owner Glenda Bumpus said she returned from vacation and arrived at her gallery Friday to quite a surprise.
“I went down the alley out back and parked there, and when I came out front all this was going on,” Bumpus said. “It’s scary to think all this happened right out here.”
Chief Holman said he put most of the resources of the police department into the investigation. Sergeants called in off-duty officers to help.
Holman said officers were interviewing witnesses and attempting to sort out what happened. He said he did not want to divulge too much information and risk hampering the investigation.
At least two males turned themselves in to police at the scene for questioning. Officers checked the men’s hands for scrapes and blood and took them to the police station.
Anyone with more information can call the Breckenridge Police Department at (970) 453-2941.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or email@example.com.
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