Transient holes up in Wildernest condo |

Transient holes up in Wildernest condo

Reid Williams

WILDERNEST – Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man described as a transient after he broke into a Wildernest condo and barricaded himself inside with furniture Monday night.

A Villamont resident was surprised to find his door locked when he returned home about 6:30 p.m. A neighbor told the man she heard the home’s stereo blaring when she had come home for lunch earlier that day – an uncharacteristic din for the three men who lived in the condo.

The resident banged on his door and, to his shock, was told by someone inside, “Don’t come in here” and “Don’t you worry about who it is.” The resident called 911.

A Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived and, finding the front door blocked with a couch and seeing a man wandering around inside, the deputy called for backup, including SWAT team members and K-9 units. A second deputy looking through the back door saw the intruder – dressed in boxer shorts – run upstairs. The officers shoved their way inside the condo.

As the deputies shouted for the man to come downstairs, they heard what sounded like more furniture moving. The deputies attempted to get the man to talk for an hour, and then a SWAT negotiator attempted a dialogue for another 10 minutes. The man would not respond.

Officers crashed their way through a barricaded bedroom door and released Silverthorne’s K-9. The dog found the man lying in one of the bedroom closets and bit him.

Matthew Passanisi, 23, was charged with second-degree burglary, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and failure to leave the premises upon the request of a police officer.

“I tried to call on my way home from Denver, and a police officer picked up the phone,” said David Dougherty, one of the residents of the condo. “It was weird. Here’s this cop saying there’s someone barricaded in your room upstairs. We got home just when it was all wrapping up.”

Dougherty said that Passanisi was no stranger. Passanisi had worked with one of the roommates and stayed with them for a week last winter when he needed a place to crash. Dougherty said Passanisi just up and disappeared.

Dougherty said Passanisi trashed the condo and was “not all there.” Dougherty described how Passanisi had fixed himself a big pasta dinner, wore his roommate’s clothes, entered the house with a baseball bat, drank a bottle of champagne, left a six-pack of beer in the bathroom and overturned most of the furniture barricading himself.

“It wasn’t what you want to come home to,” Dougherty said.

Passanisi remains in the Summit County Jail with bond set at $8,600. Passanisi was also arrested July 21 in Dillon on suspicion of reckless endangerment and July 15 at Safeway in Frisco on suspicion of theft.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or

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