Rifle felon pleads guilty in pistol-whipping incident | PostIndependent.com

Rifle felon pleads guilty in pistol-whipping incident

A Rifle man pleaded guilty Monday to felony menacing and misdemeanor driving under the influence.

Ryan Dale Wagster, 31, a felon, was charged originally with three felonies ” including second-degree assault ” and three misdemeanors ” including driving under the influence after allegedly pistol-whipping and threatening to shoot a man traveling in his car.

The other charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.

The incident occurred July 16, when Pitkin County dispatch received a report of a white pickup truck driving erratically near the 300 block of West Main street at 1:52 a.m. Monday. Soon after, the truck was reported stopped.

The driver of a RFTA bus driving past the stopped truck called in to say a man was pointing a gun at someone in the passenger seat, according to court documents.

Less than five minutes later, the same truck was reported to have crashed on the 400 block of North Seventh Street.

Wagster was arrested on the scene and police found a loaded 0.22 caliber handgun, a spent casing and blood on the butt of the gun.

“My extensive substance abuse has led me to this,” Wagster said at the hearing.

According to Assistant District Attorney Gail Nichols, Wagster previously was convicted of second-degree assault on a police officer in 1999; he violated parole on that charge and returned to prison.

Wagster is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:45 p.m. April 21.

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