ASPEN - An early-morning scrap in the Hyman Avenue mall less than two weeks ago, apparently instigated by a man's derogatory remarks toward Puerto Ricans, has resulted in three court cases headed in different directions.
The latest development came Wednesday when Judge Brooke Peterson issued a bench warrant for the arrest of porn star Brittany Zollen Rathel, 22, of Sunny Isles, Fla., after she failed to appear in Aspen Municipal Court. Rathel faces a disorderly conduct charge, but a police officer told Peterson at Wednesday's court session that he believed she's now in Florida.
The judge's warrant comes after police went to the Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall, in front of the Escobar nightclub, at approximately 1:52 a.m. on Dec. 10 for a report of a disturbance. There, police saw two women, Rathel and Aspen resident Veronica Lorelle Wimm, fighting on the ground.
"As I neared the two female subjects," Officer Adam Loudon wrote, "there were multiple unknown subjects trying to break up Wimm and Rathel. I got between Wimm and Rathel and identified myself as a police officer by yelling 'stop police.' Wimm was pulling Rathel's hair and actively kicking. I attempted to separate Wimm and Rathel without success."
Finally, Loudon was able to pry Wimm's fingers from Rathel's hair and separate the two, the report says, resulting in the officer handcuffing Wimm, 21.
Meanwhile, Aaron Christopher Preston, 25, who was pulling on Rathel when she and Wimm were in the donnybrook, tried to leave the scene, but Officer Jeff Fain placed him cuffs, the police report says. Preston also is from Sunny Isles, police records show.
As officers tried to sort out the mess, they talked to another woman who said Preston had punched her after she left Escobar.
The woman, 24, told police when she was outside of the club, she heard Preston say, "Yo, f--- all them Puerto Rican bitches."
Offended by his alleged comments, the woman, a Puerto Rican herself, asked Preston what he meant, to which he replied: "F--- you, you fat bitch," the report says. The woman told police that Preston pushed her to the ground and hit her in the face, and when she tried to get away he followed her.
That's when Wimm came to the alleged victim's aid, and then Rathel got involved, allegedly throwing the first punch - at whom is unclear - that sparked the pile-on.
Wimm pleaded not guilty on Dec. 14 to disorderly conduct, and Peterson set the case for trial on Jan. 4.
The status of Preston's case was not clear as of Thursday. City prosecutor Jim True said it was his understanding that Preston faces a felony assault charge that's being handled by the Pitkin County District Attorney's Office. But both of its prosecutors, Arnold Mordkin and Richard Nedlin, said they are not aware of any charges from the Dec. 10 incident against Preston.