Local woman: Head injury led to underage drinking at Aspen nightclub
Aspen police charged a local woman with a felony Wednesday after she was caught on video giving cocktails to her underage daughter and her daughter’s friends at a downtown bar last week, according to court documents.
Wendy Lucas, 55, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, though she told police she couldn’t remember buying the drinks, passing them to the girls or even the names of her daughter’s friends, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
Lucas and her 17-year-old daughter also were banned from the Belly Up by the bar’s owner, who was “very upset” about the incident because Lucas is a longtime customer, the affidavit states.
“She put my whole business and reputation in jeopardy,” Belly Up owner Michael Goldberg told an officer, according to the affidavit.
Police were first notified of the incident at about 11:15 p.m. June 7 by Belly Up staff who reported seeing two underage girls with alcohol, the affidavit states. An officer talked to one of the 17-year-old girls, who admitted drinking though police at the time did not determine how she got the alcohol.
The next day, Goldberg showed a surveillance video to an officer, who could “clearly see a woman known as Wendy Lucas … passing a drink to an underage girl,” the affidavit states.
“The girl puts the glass and straw to her mouth and takes a sip from the glass,” according to officer Terry Leitch’s affidavit. “This unidentified girl then passes the drink to another girl identified as [Lucas’ daughter].
“The drink gets passed around amongst the girls, eventually ending with a girl [who admitted to drinking the night before].”
The officer contacted Lucas and told her he needed to speak with her. The same night, Goldberg contacted the officer and said he’d just received a long email from Lucas.
“I am ashamed, embarrassed and regretful of my behavior at your club for the Milky Chance performance of Wednesday, June 7th,” Lucas wrote in the email, according to the affidavit.
However, Lucas said she’d been hiking earlier that day and had fallen, which caused her to lose all memory of the night at Belly Up, the affidavit states. She said she only learned she purchased margaritas for her daughter and friends after speaking with her daughter.
“I now believe I had a mild concussion and the alcohol affected my brain and my behavior,” Lucas wrote in the email to Goldberg, according to the affidavit. “I would certainly understand if you banned me from the Belly Up after what I did last Wednesday.”
Officer Leitch then rewatched the video and found that Lucas showed no signs of injury while walking down the stairs to Belly Up and through the club, the affidavit states.
In a subsequent interview with Leitch, Lucas said she does not remember giving margaritas to the girls or much of the evening at all because of the fall she took hiking.
“My daughter told me I bought her a margarita,” Lucas told Leitch, according to the affidavit.
Lucas said she doesn’t remember where she met up with the six to seven teenage girls she brought with her to Belly Up that night, and doesn’t know their names.
“I told Lucas that I believed that the parents of the children that she was supposed to be chaperoning had the right to know what occurred,” Leitch wrote in the affidavit. “Lucas again told me she wasn’t sure of [the girls’] names but stated she would ask her daughter.”
Lucas said she saw a doctor for the head injury, though she was only advised to contact the doctor if she developed a headache, the affidavit states.
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Not everyone gives Jack Chen a warm welcome when he walks into his favorite bar.