Crime briefs: Man charged with sex crime in Rifle
Rifle police officers arrested a 21-year-old man on June 18 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at Centennial Park in Rifle.
At about 12:56 a.m., Rifle police said they received a suspicious call from an individual who said a teenage girl at a local Kum & Go looked lost, like she was looking for someone.
Officers said when they arrived at the store, they found the girl, who matched the description, and identified herself. She allegedly told officers she met a man on Facebook and the two had agreed to meet and smoke marijuana.
She showed officers a screenshot of a conversation she had with the male before he picked her up.
Court documents said the girl told officers that once she was at the park, the male started touching her and putting his hands up her shorts. When she said she wanted to leave, he allegedly pulled her into a nearby bathroom and held his hand over her mouth. He said if she stopped screaming he would let her go.
The affidavits said that a nearby light turned on, which may have scared the man, and the girl was able to get away.
She said she lost one of her shoes and her cell phone in the process, and told officers the man may have taken her phone.
Rifle officers said they initiated a be on the look out for emergency communications alert. About an hour and a half later, the suspect was stopped in his car in Glenwood Springs.
Officers said the male admitted immediately to knowing why he was stopped, saying he made a bad decision and he “did something really stupid.” He also said, “I was holding her and hugging her, but I let her go.”
He was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Officers said they found the girl’s learner’s permit in his left pocket.
His clothing was collected as evidence and the alleged victim’s cell phone was retrieved from his car.
He is charged with unlawful sexual contact, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and multiple crimes related to driving under the influence.
He is at Garfield County Jail on $85, 000 bond.
MAN TRIES TO THROW WOMAN FROM OVERPASS
On Thursday, at about 7:10 p.m., Garfield County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call in which a woman said her boyfriend had just choked her and tried to throw her over an overpass near the Bair Ranch rest area.
Officers found the woman at mile marker 129 on I-70. She said her boyfriend had just fled on foot but was likely still in the area.
According to court documents, the couple, from Florence, Colorado, had visited Glenwood Hot Springs Pool for vacation and decided to walk to a nearby bar around 7 p.m.
The woman said she asked the suspect for money to feed their child, who wanted to eat at a separate restaurant. The woman told police the suspect said no, and that it wasn’t his problem, before he started drinking beers.
She told police he drank four beers in an hour and refused to let her drive. She said he began blaming a series of crimes against his child on her before she asked him to stop the car and let her out. She said he became aggressive and angry, and refused to stop the car.
He slammed on the brakes, court papers said, and stopped in the middle of the interstate. The woman said she pulled the keys from the ignition so the suspect wouldn’t take off with their child, who was in the backseat crying.
During the struggle to retrieve the keys, the woman said the suspect hit her and grabbed her forcefully. She tried to remove her belongings from the car, and while doing so she said the suspect grabbed her and tried to push her over the railing of the overpass.
The woman told officers the suspect had choked her with both hands for 20 to 30 seconds but that she did not lose consciousness. She said the only reason she hadn’t fallen the 20 to 30 foot drop is because she was holding onto the suspect with both legs.
When the male stopped choking her, she said he threw her into the side of the truck. According to court papers, cars had to slam on their brakes and swerve around the couple to avoid hitting them. The woman told police people tried to stop and help but couldn’t because they were close to hitting other cars that also swerved.
The woman was able to get back into the car and lock the doors. She said the suspect used a can of salsa and a rock to try and smash the windows. He allegedly held onto the side mirror and sat on the hood before finally letting go.
The woman said she had secretly recorded the incident, and court documents indicate her account matches the video.
Some time later, police received multiple reports from callers who said a man was jumping in front of traffic and throwing objects at moving cars on I-70. Officers said the descriptions matched that of the suspect.
He was arrested and taken to Garfield County Jail. He told officers he never assaulted the woman but did punch the windows when she drove off with the truck. He said she was angry all day and added that he pulled over immediately when she asked.
He is charged with harassment, second-degree assault (strangulation), reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, child abuse and obstruction of telephone service. He is held on $40,000 and is due in court July 11 at 1:30 p.m.
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