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January 26, 2013
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Just out of prison, Aspen man gets arrested again

ASPEN - An Aspen man recently released from state prison is back in trouble again after he allegedly attempted to assault a police officer.

Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols advised Landin Gus Smith, 48, that he faces a felony charge of attempted second-degree assault of a police officer along with misdemeanor offenses of resisting arrest and violation of a protection order. She set his bond at $7,000. But even if Smith can post bond, he will remain in jail because of a parole hold.

Police arrested Smith shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday at the Local's Corner convenience store in downtown Aspen. There, Smith was allegedly staggering and stumbling out of the main entrance when police arrived, according to an affidavit for a warrantless arrest, which Aspen Police officer Dave Rosselot wrote.

After running Smith's name, police learned that a protection order prohibited him from consuming alcohol until Dec. 9 and that he was on parole through the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Police asked him to take a portable breath test, but he refused, Rosselot wrote. Smith also denied having any involvement in a purported disturbance the night before. Police had believed that he might have been involved.

When police attempted to arrest Smith, he "became belligerent, upset and attempted to walk away from (Officer Forrest) Barnett as he was placing him into handcuffs," Rosselot wrote.

Smith continued to resist being arrested, and another officer, Jeff Fain, took him to the ground, Rosselot wrote.

"At one point, Smith intentionally kicked Officer Forrest Barnett in the leg," Rosselot wrote. "Barnett later told me that he had not felt pain during Smith's kick at him, but did feel impact from it."

Appearing in Pitkin County Court on Friday, Smith, who had a laceration under his left eye, told the judge that he wants professional help for his problems with alcohol, "rather than sitting in seclusion or fighting every day" in prison.

"I'm not a bad person," he told the judge. "I'm the sweetest person you ever met ..."

"When you're not drinking alcohol," the judge interrupted.

"When I'm not drinking alcohol," Smith confirmed.

In December 2009, then-Pitkin County District Judge James Boyd sentenced Smith to a four-year prison sentence for assaulting an Aspen peace officer. Smith had previously pleaded guilty to kicking an officer at Koch Lumber Park on Aug. 13, 2009. At the time, Smith had been prohibited from drinking alcohol as part of protection-order conditions related to charges that he had unlawful sexual contact with a minor and contributed to the delinquency of a minor. Both of those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Department of Corrections record show that Smith was eligible for parole in December 2012. He was released from prison last month.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 26, 2013 05:24PM Published Jan 26, 2013 05:23PM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.