Crime briefsOne couple spawns four cases in Rifle
May 19, 2017
A couple wound up in jail May 11 after a series of run-ins with the law, all in the same morning.
Rifle police were first dispatched at about 6:30 a.m. to an assault at Wal-Mart, where dispatch reported that a man was suspected of hitting a woman who was on the ground. An officer approached them and saw the woman had a black eye, a bloody nose and mouth, bruising on her face, redness on the side of her neck and face and lip swelling.
She said the two had gotten into an argument and lost their tempers. They were heading out of town to go to Las Vegas, she told an officer. At first she said she got the black eye by being clumsy.
She then said the 57-year-old man, her boyfriend of about three weeks, struck her and knocked her to the ground, according to an affidavit. She later added he had grabbed her by the throat before he struck her in the face.
The man was arrested on a felony second-degree assault charge, along with a domestic violence sentence enhancer.
Noticing that she appeared to be intoxicated, an officer gave her a ride to her residence, but the woman was later arrested on another case that included charges of driving under the influence, careless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia.
About two hours later, Rifle police were dispatched to a burglary at Valley Vet Clinic, where a vet tech found a side door had been forced open and money was missing from a cash box.
An officer found the door frame torn out of the doorway, various items in disarray and the employee said about $150 was missing from a hidden cash box. Later, another envelope of cash was found missing.
Items from the pharmacy counter were on the ground, and drawers where deposits were usually kept were open.
Police suspected an employee or someone with knowledge of the unusual place the cash box was kept. The Valley Vet Clinic owner told police she had recently fired a 31-year-old woman for stealing narcotics. This was the same woman Rifle police encountered earlier in the morning.
While she was in custody, the woman told police that her boyfriend talked her into breaking in so they could go to Las Vegas for the weekend, according to the police report. He was found with $241.
They were individually charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, along with theft and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.
Domestic violence overlooked, winds up in ER
New Castle police responded to a domestic dispute on Castle Valley Boulevard the night of May 8. And though the incident didn't at first appear to be serious to officers, they later found evidence of a brutal beating.
Two officers interviewed a 25-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman, but they saw no signs of a physical altercation, and both told police that nothing physical had happened.
Due to a language barrier, an officer reported that, to speak with the 25-year-old man, he used a translator application.
When New Castle officers questioned the couple, the man said they had been arguing about money and "other girls," according to an arrest affidavit. They were also arguing because he was going to leave the residence, and she didn't want him to, he said.
The officers told the two to stay away from each other for the night.
But the next day, Valley View Hospital contacted police reporting that a co-worker brought the 27-year-old woman to the emergency room for injuries she'd sustained during a domestic altercation.
The woman told a physician that the 25-year-old man had "grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground. He was punching and kicking her and she lost consciousness," according to an affidavit.
He had also thrown her against a wall, she told the doctor. She "had severe abrasions on her hip and back," according to a police report. She said she had hidden her injuries with her shirt and a towel.
When officers spoke with the woman at Valley View Hospital the next day, they used her co-worker as a translator. She said he threw her down in the parking lot, as they were arguing about him leaving and not telling her where he was going.
"He hit me in the face twice with his fists. I told him to calm down and let's go inside and talk. He continued to hit me and kick me while I was on the ground. I blacked out after one of the kicks or punches. I remember I grabbed his feet and said 'Don't leave, accidents happen.' He turned around and hit me again."
"The injuries (she) sustained from losing consciousness by this definition qualify as serious bodily injury," the physician reported.
The 25-year-old man was arrested on charges of felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor harassment. Domestic violence was also applied as a sentence enhancer.
woman scorned wrecks house
Glenwood Springs police responded to a domestic dispute May 6 on Fanning Place. A 52-year-old man's 39-year-old girlfriend reportedly came to his house intoxicated, wrecked the place and broke his television and phone.
He was upstairs sleeping at his house and awoke to the sound of his girlfriend downstairs yelling for him. When he came downstairs, she was angry that he hadn't let her know he was home. She ran upstairs and barricaded herself in the bedroom, according to an affidavit. When she later came out, he found his phone broken, television shattered and clothes strewn about his room.
He left the house while she continued throwing clothes about and "tossing" the living room, he told police.
While telling officers all this in the street, "at this time, (he) pointed down the sidewalk and stated here she comes."
An officer contacted the woman, who admitted to breaking the television, according to an affidavit. She did not recall breaking the phone but said she "would not rule that out."
The man and officer found piles of clothes at his front door, the living room in disarray and covered in clothes with "cushions and drawers thrown around." The bathroom had items and drawers thrown on the floor, shelves ripped from the wall.
She was arrested on charges of felony criminal mischief between $1,000 and $5,000 and misdemeanor criminal tampering. Domestic violence was also applied as a sentence enhancer.
I-70 Speedster tries to lose the law
Garfield County sheriff's patrol engaged in a short, yet high-speed, chase on Interstate 70 near Parachute May 6 morning.
Patrolling on westbound I-70, the patroller clocked a vehicle going 96 mph as it passed the patrol car. The driver sped up to 105 mph as the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle and dangerously passed other vehicles on a rough section of the interstate, according to an affidavit.
Passing another vehicle on a sharp turn, the vehicle braked aggressively, so much so that smoke emitted from the wheel wells and caused the deputy and the other driver to slam on their brakes, the deputy reported.
The driver told deputies that he was driving from Trinidad to California, but insisted that there was no particular reason for the trip, "that he just felt like going on a drive." He admitted that his driving behavior could have gotten someone hurt. And he later said the only trouble he'd been in with the law before was for cocaine possession in the '90s.
He was arrested on charges of felony vehicular eluding and misdemeanor speeding 25 to 39 mph over the limit.
70 mph on Grand Avenue Bridge to dodge cops
A driver speeding away from police was clocked at 70 mph on the Grande Avenue bridge early the morning of May 1.
A Glenwood Springs sergeant spotted a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer pull out of a parking spot by K-Seas in downtown without headlights on. When the sergeant tried stop the vehicle, it sped up as it drove north.
The vehicle was clocked at 70 mph going over the Grand Avenue Bridge, and the vehicle continued north on Pine Street, eventually winding up going east on Spring Street, where the driver ditched the car. Officers did not located the driver that night.
Though he wasn't captured that night, the sergeant believed the driver to have been a 22-year-old Glenwood Springs man, "because the same car has been stopped numerous times by numerous officers and each time it is (the 22-year-old) operating the car." He is also the registered owner of the Lancer.
A witness at K-Seas also reported seeing the 22-year-old leave in his car and the sergeant try to stop him.
He was arrested May 7 on charges of felony vehicular eluding, along with reckless driving, obstruction of a peace officer and no proof of insurance, all misdemeanors.