Crime Briefs: Felonies in the Flat Tops; who’s driving this thing? | PostIndependent.com

Crime Briefs: Felonies in the Flat Tops; who’s driving this thing?

“MURDER SUICIDE IS A …”

At approximately 5:57 p.m. July 15, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a man way up in the Flat Tops west of Yampa who came out of the woods screaming profanities at a woman.

The incident allegedly occurred at the Bear Lake Campground in a very remote part of Garfield County near the Routt County line.

According to an affidavit in the case, the 51-year-old male, who had just been released from jail following a previous domestic violence incident, was in violation of a restraining order that barred him from contacting the 50-year-old woman he was threatening.

The female, who was doing chores around the camp, allegedly saw the male and smelled “a strong odor of alcohol” as he approached her.

The female got into her work vehicle, as the male took the keys to her personal Dodge Ram out of her camper.

According to the arrest affidavit, the man said in a threatening tone “murder suicide is a…”

As the female drove toward the town of Yampa, the male began “fish tailing” her bumper before hitting her vehicle.

Heading down Forest Road 900, the male reportedly almost caused the female to drive off of the road and cliff, according to the affidavit.

Eventually, the male swerved in front of her and again yelled from the vehicle, “murder suicide is a…”

Upon receiving cell service, the female called dispatch and, working with Routt County and Oak Creek police, officers were able to locate and arrest the male, who still had “an extremely strong odor of alcohol” emanating from him.

Officers also discovered an “ax,” “binoculars” and “Mike’s Harder Black Cherry” located in and around the passenger seat of the vehicle the male allegedly commandeered.

After being medically cleared from Valley View Hospital, the male was booked into Garfield County Jail on 12 charges, six of which were felonies including menacing and vehicular assault while under the influence.

WHO WAS DRIVING?

At approximately 1:30 a.m. July, a Glenwood Springs Police officer pulled over a vehicle for driving erratically near Glenwood Meadows.

According to the arrest affidavit, the Dodge Ram “was weaving and touched the double yellow lines five times,” prompting the officer to activate his emergency lights and conduct a traffic stop.

Upon approaching the vehicle’s driver-side window, “no one was in the driver’s seat,” the officer reported.

According to the affidavit, the 22-year-old male in the front passenger seat and a 23-year-old male in the rear passenger seat both stated “that they were not driving.”

Additionally, both males’ eyes were “bloodshot” and the officer could smell “an unknown alcoholic beverage” coming from the vehicle.

Upon questioning the men, both claimed that the other was driving.

After running the 23-year-old’s name, dispatch advised that he had a mandatory protection order that prohibited him from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages.

After stating, “I’m drunk, but I wasn’t driving,” the 23-year-old was eventually arrested and lodged into the Garfield County Jail on five charges, including DUI, careless driving, driving a vehicle while license under restraint, violation of a restraining order, and failure to provide proof of Insurance.

mabennett@postindependent.com


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