Crime briefs: 20-something arrested in vehicle thefts, menacing with a gun |

Crime briefs: 20-something arrested in vehicle thefts, menacing with a gun

Ryan Summerlin

A man called police the morning of Dec. 12 when his white Subaru WRX was stolen at a West Glenwood gas station.

Video footage from the gas station showed a blue truck pulling up, and a passenger from the truck getting into the running Subaru and taking off. Three hours later, police found the vehicle empty and out of gas in the westbound lane of Interstate 70, at the eastern edge of Glenwood Canyon.

The owner arrived on scene and informed police that a .40 caliber pistol was missing.

Four days later, the owner of El Azteca Meat Market sounded a panic alarm after a group of people was arguing outside and someone fired a gunshot.

Three people driving by recognized a vehicle at the market as their truck, which had been stolen from their house in Rifle early that morning. They pulled up behind the truck to prevent it from leaving, and the person driving the truck backed up, colliding into their vehicle. The young man driving the truck pulled a black handgun, said “it’s my truck” and fired a round into the air, they told police.

He and two other people in the truck bolted from the scene.

An officer soon spotted a man matching the driver’s description walking south on Grand Avenue, and when the officer tried to contact him, the young man ran into the U.S. Bank parking lot and hid in the bushes. However, he was soon apprehended.

Though they didn’t find a gun, officers found a .40 caliber shell at the scene, according to police.

Officers found in his criminal history that the 22-year-old was also charged in May with felony drug possession and eventually sentenced to probation.

On a warrant stemming from the Subaru theft, he was arrested on first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, theft, first-degree trespass and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, all of which are felonies. He was also arrested on felony aggravated menacing with a weapon, felony aggravated motor vehicle theft, as well as misdemeanors for reckless driving, prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Domestic arguments turn violent

Garfield County deputies received a report in Battlement Mesa Sunday night from a woman who said her boyfriend had beaten her up.

She was calling from a bathroom, while the boyfriend was just outside, trying to unlock the door with a pocket knife, according to an affidavit. After about a week of arguments, a fight between the two turned physical that night.

While the woman was chopping potatoes she cut her finger and ran to the bathroom to wash it off. When the boyfriend ran behind her to see if she was OK, she repeatedly told him to leave her alone. Another argument ensued, but this time he pushed her into a tub, threw her over his shoulders and knocked her head on a doorway as he carried her into a bedroom, she reported.

He then threw her on the bed, climbed on top of her and squeezed her throat with his hand, she reported. She “stated that she was barely breathing and that she was scared for her life,” according to an affidavit. He blocked the doorway to keep her in the room, and when she was finally able to budge through him, he threw her to the ground, she told the deputies. She was finally able to get her phone, lock herself in the bathroom and call 911.

Deputies found her with red marks all over her neck and scratches on her wrist, on her shoulder and by her ears.

Though he gave a much tamer account of events, the boyfriend was arrested on charges of felony second-degree assault, misdemeanor false imprisonment and misdemeanor criminal mischief. Domestic violence was applied as a sentence enhancer.

Man catches ride, filches driver’s wallet

Last month, a 37-year-old man found that someone had stolen his wallet from his vehicle and used his credit card at the Rifle Wal-Mart for nearly $240.

He’d given a 23-year-old man a ride from Silt to Rifle, but the two got into an altercation, and the older man was arrested for assaulting the younger man.

Later, the 37-year-old would get out of jail and take a taxi, only to find at the end of his ride that he didn’t have enough money to pay. He checked his bank account and found that someone else had spent his money. Based on security footage at Wal-Mart, police obtained a warrant for the 23-year-old’s arrest.

Rifle police found the younger man on Dec. 16 afternoon at a park and ride bus stop. When they arrested him, they searched his backpack and found a green glass pipe they believed to be used for smoking methamphetamine.

Officers also found a wallet containing his ID and a $450 check written to man who’d given him a ride. The back of the check was endorsed as “Pay to the order of (the 23-year-old)” was written below the endorsement, according to police.

He eventually told police that he had gone back to the vehicle to grab his sandwich, but then he also took the 37-year-old’s wallet and credit cards. According to police, he admitted using the 37-year-old’s credit cards at McDonald’s, Kum & Go and Wal-Mart.

Officers also found him with 2.6 grams of white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. However, the man denied that it was methamphetamine. He said that he believed another man, who he’d paid $100, had sold him some “bunk” methamphetamine.

He was arrested on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a forged instrument. He was also arrested on the earlier warrant charging felony identity theft, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor criminal possession of a financial device.

Intoxicated driver found with cocaine

A Silt officer spotted a suspicious blue Mitsubishi drive into the KOA campground and stopped the vehicle for having an obstructed license plate.

The driver’s speech was delayed and slurred, and his eyes were watery and bloodshot, according to police. The officer could smell alcohol on his breath, though the driver denied he had been drinking.

However, in the backseat officers could see an open can of Coors and Twisted Tea, according to an affidavit. Asked again how many drinks he’d had, he replied, “two.”

Officers also found that his license was revoked as he was a habitual traffic offender.

While performing roadside sobriety tests, he first failed one test, then told an officer that he couldn’t perform another one. Eventually, he said, “Just arrest me,” and turned around with his hands behind his back. A breath test would measure his BAC as .185.

Under the driver seat, officers found a plastic bag containing a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

He was arrested on possession of a controlled substance, a felony, as well as misdemeanors for DUI, driving with an open container and driving while revoked as a habitual traffic offender.

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