Just out of prison, Aspen man arrested again | PostIndependent.com

Just out of prison, Aspen man arrested again

An Aspen man who recently was released from state prison is back in trouble again after he allegedly attempted to assault a police officer.

Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols advised Landin Gus Smith, 48, that he faces a felony charge of attempted second-degree assault of a police officer, along with misdemeanor offenses of resisting arrest and violation of a protection order. She set his bond at $7,000. But even if Smith can post bond, he will remain incarcerated because of a parole hold.

Police arrested Smith shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday at the Local’s Corner convenience store in downtown Aspen. There, Smith was allegedly staggering and stumbling out of the main entrance when police arrived, according to an affidavit for a warrantless arrest, which was written by Aspen Police officer Dave Rosselot.

After running Smith’s name, police learned that a protection order prohibited him from consuming alcohol until Dec. 9 and that he was on parole through the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Police asked him to take a portable-breath test, but he refused, Rosselot wrote. Smith also denied having any involvement in a purported disturbance the night before. Police had believed he might have been involved.

When police attempted to arrest Smith, he “became belligerent, upset and attempted to walk away from [Officer Forrest] Barnett as he was placing him into handcuffs,” Rosselot wrote.

Smith continued to resist being arrested, and another officer, Jeff Fain, took him to the ground, Rosselot wrote.

“At one point, Smith intentionally kicked Officer Forrest Barnett in the leg,” Rosselot wrote. “Barnett later told me that he had not felt pain during Smith’s kick at him, but did feel impact from it.”

Appearing in Pitkin County Court Friday, Smith, who had a laceration under his left eye, told the judge that he wants professional help for his problems with alcohol, “rather than sitting in seclusion or fighting everyday” in prison.

“I’m not a bad person,” he told the judge. “I’m the sweetest person you ever met …”

“When you’re not drinking alcohol,” the judge interrupted.

“When I’m not drinking alcohol,” Smith confirmed.

In December 2009, then-Pitkin County District Judge James Boyd sentenced Smith to a four-year prison sentence for assaulting an Aspen peace officer. Smith had previously pleaded guilty to kicking an officer at Koch Lumber Park on Aug. 13, 2009. At the time of that incident, Smith had been prohibited from drinking alcohol as part protection-order conditions related to charges that he had unlawful sexual contact with a minor and contributed to the delinquency of a minor. Both of those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Department of Corrections record show Smith was eligible for parole in December 2012. He was released from prison last month.


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