ASPEN - A judge ordered a part-time Aspen resident Monday to perform 24 hours of public service and placed him on one year of unsupervised probation for carrying a knife into a downtown women's accessory boutique.
Kim Alan Kartzmer, 59, pleaded guilty in Pitkin County District Court to misdemeanor menacing as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. In exchange, prosecutors dropped the felony charges of menacing and theft.
"I acted very stupidly and deeply regret it," Kartzmer told the judge. "I never intended to cause anybody any harm or distress, for sure. I apologize to them. I'm very, very sorry."
Aspen police arrested Kartzmer after he walked into Palaso and displayed a knife on the night of Aug. 18. By the time a store worker had called police, Kartzmer had left the premises. Police, however, later located Kartzmer, using the help of Palaso's owner, who had the suspect's license-plate number.
Kartzmer, who works in the film industry and spends about eight months a year in New York City, admitted to police that he entered the store with a clearly visible knife in his hand. But he said he had not intended to hurt or frighten anyone.
According to defense attorney Lawson Wills, Kartzmer had been dining earlier that night at Gisella and walked out with the 10-inch steak knife, which led to the theft charge.
Wills also noted that Kartzmer had a clean record and that this was his first transgression since at least 1972, when he received a traffic ticket.
"He obviously knows the knife isn't something he should be carrying around," Wills said.
Wills said Kartzmer was just walking about town that night and "burning some time" before he was to meet his daughter and her boyfriend after they got out of the movies.
Pitkin County District Court Judge Gail Nichols said Kartzmer's act was "clearly an aberration."
"In this day and age, carrying a knife around isn't a great idea unless it's folded and in your pocket," she told him.
Prosecutor Andrea Bryan said she spoke to the victim, who said she was satisfied with the plea disposition.
"This is not your typical menacing case," Bryan said. "Even the victim acknowledges that the defendant didn't intend to alarm her. That said, he certainly did."