A homeless man apologized in Aspen Municipal Court on Monday for the trouble he said he’s caused over the past few months.
Brian P. Potter, 49, has been arrested or cited by the Aspen Police Department at least four times since late January. His infractions have included fighting, panhandling, open container, trespassing and failure to appear in court. Assistant City Attorney Debbie Quinn said that all of the incidents involving Potter have been alcohol-related.
“I apologize to the town of Aspen,” Potter told Municipal Court Judge Brooke Peterson. “I definitely need some help.”
For his many offenses, Potter was sentenced by Peterson to one year of unsupervised probation, with several conditions. Should he fail to meet the conditions, he likely will receive jail time, Peterson noted.
“Should there be any violation of any of these conditions, I have the right to put you in jail, which I will do,” the judge said.
Potter cannot drink alcohol for one year. He also must submit to an alcohol evaluation and attend 90 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings over the next 90 days.
He also was ordered to pay $150 in court fees, broken into $30 monthly installments. He must appear in Municipal Court every month for a review of his progress.
Peterson strongly suggested that Potter find a place to live and seek employment. Potter said he is an experienced construction worker and that he moved to Aspen from Denver during early winter. While in Denver, his car was stolen, which led to his current problems, he said.
In other court business, Max Bason, owner of the outerwear retail shop Denimaxx, agreed to pay a $150 fine for violating the city’s sign code.
Denimaxx, on South Mill Street, was issued a citation on March 26 because of two temporary signs advertising that store items had been discounted 50 percent, according to the city’s code enforcement officer. One illegal sign, hanging over a public sidewalk, was affixed to another hanging sign for which the store has a permit. Another illegal sign had been placed against the building’s brick facade, he said.
Quinn said that through an arrangement with the court, Bason has agreed to pay a $500 fine for each future infraction, should he violate the sign code again. He is on probation for 18 months, and will have to return to court to answer to the original sign-violation charge if he is accused of breaking any more laws, save for minor traffic charges.