Crime Briefs: Suspected bike thief caught
Off duty and heading home, a Glenwood Springs Police officer stopped at City Market in New Castle on the night of Oct. 7 and happened to spot a car that had been described in a tip just hours earlier.
The tip, according to Lt. Bill Kimminau, was that suspected serial bike thief Brandon Hodgden would be leaving town in just such a vehicle.
Hodgden, 35, had an active warrant for felony burglary and theft in connection with 34 Glenwood stolen bike cases since May, with an estimated total value of more than $43,000.
New Castle Police soon located him nearby, and he was subsequently arrested and lodged at the Garfield County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
Grand theft tractor
Borrowing a front end loader for an afternoon isn’t usually a crime — unless you drive it down a city street without a license or neglect to get permission from the owner.
According to his arrest affidavit, a 45-year-old Rifle man is accused of doing just that to improve the parking lot of a Rifle apartment complex on Sept. 29. Confronted by police after returning the tractor, he reportedly told them he was certified to drive it and showed them the key, which turned out to be universal. When the matter of his revoked license was broached, he said wasn’t aware that the route between the construction yard and the parking lot was a public road.
The owner of the construction company later confirmed that only employees had permission to use the $150,000 machine, although workers recalled a man asking to borrow it and being turned down.
The man was arrested on suspicion of felony motor vehicle theft, felony trespass and misdemeanor driving with a revoked license.
After hearing two conflicting stories of an altercation on the morning of Oct. 5, Glenwood Springs Police ended up arresting the man without a bleeding gash on his arm.
According to his arrest affidavit, the 24-year-old told police that he had been drinking at home with two men when an argument broke out. He said he offered to fight them individually, but the pair attacked and pummeled him. When one of them grabbed a kitchen knife, he told police he grabbed the blade through his shirt using a move he’d learned as a police officer in Mexico.
The other version was more straightforward. In it, the man was out of control, and the other two were trying to calm him down. He grabbed the knife and stabbed one of them as they ran out the door.
The man was booked on suspicion of second degree assault and menacing, both felonies.
Drunk driver may avoid felony
A Grand Junction man will have a chance to avoid a felony record after he was involved in an accident while intoxicated, Judge Daniel Petre ruled Thursday.
According to his arrest affidavit, Colorado State Patrol arrived at the scene of a two-car accident on Highway 82 on April 23 to find Francisco Ruelas, 22, of Grand Junction smelling of alcohol in the driver’s seat of a heavily damaged black Honda.
The driver of the other car — a white Pontiac — told troopers that he was driving upvalley to work when he encountered the Honda with no lights on blocking both lanes, and wasn’t able to stop in time to prevent a collision. The passenger in the Pontiac was transported to Valley View Hospital with a fractured sternum and two broken ribs.
Ruelas later pleaded guilty to felony vehicular assault and misdemeanor driving while impaired. If he completes Petre’s sentence — which includes 15 days in jail with one day served, two years of probation, restitution, a letter of apology and a drug and alcohol evaluation — the felony charge will be removed from his record.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon will continue to be closed due to “extreme damage” from the latest round of heavy rain and flooding Saturday night, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced Sunday afternoon.