Crime Briefs: ‘You in the suitcase, show me your hands’ |

Crime Briefs: ‘You in the suitcase, show me your hands’

Ryan Summerlin

Searching the apartment of a wanted 48-year-old man suspected to be a member of the California Crips street gang, Garfield County authorities found him hiding in a pink suitcase.

This was not, however, their first contact with the man.

Parachute police responded to a domestic disturbance at the apartment building in September.

The man’s 35-year-old girlfriend told officers that he had struck her in the face, and they noted obvious swelling to her face. She said that the boyfriend grew angry over a man who added her as a “friend” on Facebook. He later threatened to get a knife and “slit her throat” as he was attempting to keep her in the apartment, she told police.

Officers found that the man was subject to a protection order with the girlfriend as the protected party. Soon afterward police got another report that the man was trying to get into the woman’s car. And a Parachute police officer spotted him fleeing on foot on a trail, though authorities were not able to apprehend him then.

An arrest warrant was issued for felony menacing, misdemeanor third-degree assault, misdemeanor violation of bond conditions and misdemeanor violation of a restraining order. Domestic violence was applied as a sentence enhancer. That was added to three other active misdemeanor warrants for his arrest.

On Oct. 13 Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Threat Assessment Group went to the apartment looking for the man. The girlfriend was home and told officers that she had not seen him or heard from him in two days. They asked to search the apartment, and she hesitantly agreed.

As officers searched the apartment, guns drawn, one officer found a pink suitcase covered with clothes and shoes in a closet. The officer then saw the suitcase move, and he could see a foot. He said something to the effect of “you in the suitcase, show me your hands,” according to an affidavit.

After giving several loud verbal commands for the person to come out of the suitcase, the top finally opened up and they could see the man inside, but he wouldn’t come out.

At gunpoint and Taser-point, they eventually negotiated him out of the luggage, and he was arrested on the warrants, in addition to felony criminal impersonation, felony violation of bond conditions and misdemeanor obstruction of a peace officer. His girlfriend was also arrested on felony attempt to influence a public servant and misdemeanor false reporting to authorities.

22-year-old arrested in vehicle fire

Glenwood Springs police responded Tuesday afternoon to a vehicle fire at the Traver Trail parking lot on U.S. 6.

A 39-year-old woman who owned the vehicle said she smelled something burning as she was approaching the parking lot, and she found it was her car. She saw a man she did not know standing near her car.

An officer found several bottles of Modelo near the vehicle. “Also, all of the windows in the vehicle appeared to have been broken out and the windshield appeared to have been hit repeatedly with an unknown object,” the officer reported.

Then someone in a black SUV driving on U.S. 6 picked him up.

Going to the address of the owner of the other vehicle, officers contacted a 22-year-old man wearing the same clothes as the man in the video. He smelled like smoke. The man told officers he’d drank two beers, but he would not talk about the incident at the parking lot.

Police say the man resisted arrest and an officer had to take him to the ground to get him into custody. When they searched him they found a folded $1 bill with white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

He was arrested on charges of criminal mischief, first-degree criminal trespass and possession of a controlled substance, all felonies. Arresting charges also included misdemeanor resisting arrest.

felony arrest instead of coffee

Rifle police went to the Starbucks at the 900 block of Airport Road on Tuesday after an employee reported receiving a counterfeit bill.

A man in the drive-through in an SUV had paid with a fake $100 bill.

“It was obvious the $100 bill was fake as it appeared to be … printed, [and] the back of the bill was completely blurry as if it was pixels,” an officer reported.

A passenger in the vehicle, a 28-year-old man, said he’d gotten it in a trade from a woman in New Castle for a drone. Officers found the 28-year-old with another fake $100 on him.

He also gave officers a couple of fake names when they questioned him. He was arrested on felony charges of forgery and criminal impersonation.

Police foil fanny pack fiend

Glenwood Springs police responded the afternoon of Oct. 12 to a vehicle trespass on the 500 block of Laurel Street.

A man and woman returned to their car to find that it was unlocked and missing several items, including two fanny packs, a cellphone, three bike lights, an iPhone, prescription glasses, sunglasses and a wallet containing various credit cards.

Surveillance footage showed a man walk up to the vehicle and enter it through a sliding door. Though he wasn’t carrying any bags when he approached, he was when he left, according to police.

Just before that, police had been called to the Hotel Colorado for a disturbance involving a man wearing the same clothing. The next morning another officer spotted the man back at the Hotel Colorado, this time wearing a fanny pack matching one reported stolen.

He told officers that a stranger had given him the fanny pack. Inside the pack officers found items that had been reported taken from the car.

He was arrested on charges of first-degree trespass, a felony and theft, a misdemeanor.

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