Aspen Highlands lift-pusher suspect interviewed
January 23, 2016
Pitkin County sheriff's investigators were meeting late Wednesday afternoon with a man who may have thrown a snowboarder from a chairlift Sunday at Aspen Highlands.
That's according to Deputy Alex Burchetta, who said investigators had not made an arrest in the case. They also were interviewing the 28-year-old victim and witnesses Wednesday to try to figure out what happened, he said.
Seth Beckton, a local photographer, told The Aspen Times on Monday that he was riding up the Loge Peak Chairlift with a skier and another man about 9:30 a.m. Beckton said he made an innocuous comment near the top of the lift about skiers being better able to get face shots of powder as opposed to snowboarders.
The skier then asked if Beckton was making fun of him, and Beckton said, "Not really … maybe."
Beckton said the skier then said, "If you think that's funny, do you think this is funny?" and pushed him off the lift. Beckton fell face first 20 to 25 feet, landed in a pile of powder and was uninjured.
A Pitkin County deputy said Tuesday that investigators had identified a local man as a possible suspect based on surveillance video taken at the bottom of the mountain.
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Jeff Hanle, spokesman for the Aspen Skiing Co., said Wednesday that information from scanners at the Exhibition Chairlift and the Thunderbowl Chairlift located at the bottom of Aspen Highlands had been turned over to sheriff's investigators.