An Aspen man with a long history of community volunteerism pleaded guilty Tuesday to one misdemeanor count of careless driving in connection with an April road-rage incident.
Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely ordered Larry D. Fredrick, 64, to pay a $200 fine and to attend an anger-management class within the next six months as part of the guilty plea. He also must write a letter of apology to the victim.
Fredrick was arrested May 2. According to an Aspen Police Department investigation, Fredrick was driving near Boogie’s Diner on the morning of April 12 when he yelled at a female pedestrian as she was crossing Cooper Avenue, clipped her with his vehicle and drove away. Though the pedestrian was brushed by the vehicle, she was not injured, according to Deputy District Attorney Jason Slothouber.
The same victim had alleged that Fredrick was the same motorist in a brief altercation a couple of weeks before the April 12 incident at the same location, police said. Defense attorney Lawson Wills, of Glenwood Springs, characterized the first encounter as “a flipping-off kind of contest.”
Fredrick addressed the court Tuesday.
“I wanted to apologize for taking up your time, and I’m very embarrassed by my behavior,” he told Fernandez-Ely.
Though Fredrick pleaded guilty and apologized, Wills suggested that the pedestrian was partly at fault.
“This was very much a ‘takes-two-to-tango’ type of situation,” he said.
Fredrick initially was booked with felony menacing by police, but the District Attorney’s Office never officially charged him with a felony, Slothouber said.
The repercussions of the incident and the arrest have had a profound impact on Fredrick, who has no previous criminal history, Wills said.
“He deserves some of it, and he doesn’t deserve some of it,” the defense attorney said of the attention paid to his client.
Slothouber said the victim was very forgiving and only asked that Fredrick be made to take the anger-management class.
“This course will help you learn the signals of anger,” Fernandez-Ely said.
Fredrick is a longtime volunteer for the Aspen Historical Society, local schools and other causes.