Crime Briefs: Suspect arrested after four-month sex assault investigation
A 67-year-old man was arrested July 7, after a four-month investigation into an alleged sex assault crime against an “at risk” woman who has a physical disability.
On March 30, the young woman reported the assault to a Garfield County investigator, who started a probe into the alleged incident, which took place on a RFTA bus, according to court documents.
The alleged victim said she got on the bus in Glenwood Springs and noticed the suspect had boarded when the bus stopped in Carbondale. She said in affidavits, she had known him since elementary school and said when he got on the bus he noticed her, too, and sat next to her.
Reports say soon after, he began touching her inappropriately. Reports say he told her she “looked beautiful,” and that she had lost weight. Court papers also say he told her he knew she was uncomfortable, but he didn’t refrain.
According to affidavits, she told investigators his speech was slurred and she wondered if he was homeless and on drugs. She said he might have mentioned he was going to Ruby Park in Aspen.
The woman got off the bus early to avoid the man, she said, and she told investigators she called her brother to come pick her up from the stop. Investigators say they used the text messages she sent to her brother that day as evidence.
The investigator on the case said she was investigating a separate sex assault incident that took place on a RFTA bus. That incident involved a man who allegedly groped a juvenile, but when the investigator scheduled a line up including that suspect, the woman said it wasn’t him.
Investigators called the victim’s middle school and asked if they had employed a man by the name she had given, and they said no. The investigator says she called the Aspen Police Department since the victim had made comments about the suspect going to Ruby Park. An employee at the station sent two photos of the suspect.
On June 2, two months after the incident was reported, the investigator set up another line up with the suspect in it. The victim selected him, and a few weeks later the investigator interviewed him, according to court documents. He said he had no recollection of the incident and stated he believed there was a conspiracy against him, and that the victim was paid to make accusations against him.
The suspect is at Garfield County Jail, charged with unlawful sexual contact and crimes against an at-risk adult.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST
On July 4, at about 9:25 p.m., a Carbondale woman called police and said her husband had choked her in front of her son. She told officers she was now in her car in a different location but that her husband was still at the residence.
Garfield County Sheriff’s officers met the woman, who said he had never physically assaulted her before. She said he had been drinking heavily on the holiday, adding they had been arguing before the alleged assault.
She said she had decided to go to bed to escape the argument and shortly after, the suspect came into the room, pulled her off the bed by her legs, and dropped her on the floor. He allegedly told her that she and her son needed to leave the home before punching himself in the face a couple of times, police reports say.
That’s when her son came in the room, which she says, caused the suspect to “back off” for a bit. However, shortly after, he continued asking them to leave and began choking her on the floor with both hands, reports say.
The woman said when he let go of her, she began collecting shoes and other necessities. She said the suspect smashed the internet router, which served as their wifi connection. Before she left, she said she found him in the garage tampering in the hood of her car.
Reports say when she asked what he was doing he said, “I guess you’ll find out.” She and her son left in her car and drove to a location to call police, according to reports, and she told officers a warning light had flashed in her car and it hadn’t been an issue before the altercation.
Officers say they could not locate the suspect, even though they used their air horn and emergency lights.
The suspect is charged with second-degree assault (strangulation), obstruction of telephone services, second degree criminal tampering, and child abuse. He is free on a $2,500 bond.
MAN ARRESTED FOR BREAKING INTO FATHER’S HOME
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a break-in on the evening of July 3 after a caller said a man had tried to kick in the front door at a nearby residence. The caller said the suspect was trying to gain access to his father’s house, and said there was a protection order that prohibited him from being there.
At about 5:22, the caller advised the suspect had failed to break the front door and had walked to the rear of the home and entered through the back door, also letting a woman in.
Officers say when they arrived, a side door had been broken and items were placed against it to secure it. They say in court documents, multiple doors were locked in the home and that they could not locate the suspect even after giving multiple commands for him to come out.
An officer wrote in court papers that he called the suspect’s father, who said he had locked most of the doors when he left, and that the suspect might be in his old room. After several more commands, the suspect still refused to open the door, so officers say they kicked the door in.
The suspect was arrested and, according to court affidavits, he told police he was aware of the restraining order but said he was homeless and needed somewhere to stay. The female was issued a summons but was later released.
The report says three neighbors had called police to report the break-in because the suspect’s father had asked them to do so.
The suspect is charged with violation of a restraining order, violation of bond conditions, first degree criminal mischief, burglary, and obstructing a police officer.
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Two juveniles were detained Thursday in Carbondale, and police across the country are apparently on alert for students acting out on a new social media challenge to shoot people with non-lethal gel beads.