Aspen’s GOP headquarters egged again | AspenTimes.com

Aspen’s GOP headquarters egged again

Ryan Slabaugh/The Aspen TimesBroken eggs stick to the windows at the Republican Party Headquarters on Hallam Street, complete with a life-size cardboard Mitt Romney, on Thursday.

ASPEN – Police are investigating the egging of the Pitkin County Republican Party headquarters that supposedly occurred sometime between Halloween night and Thursday morning.

Party Chairwoman Frieda Wallison said she discovered the splattered eggs at 10 a.m. Thursday when she went to the local GOP base, a Victorian house at 834 W. Hallam St.

Eggs had been thrown “all over the front façade, the entry way and side windows” as well as the headquarters’ second level, she said.

“We feel we are under siege here,” Wallison said, noting that the same brand of vandalism happened the first week of October.

Wallison said she left the headquarters about 8 p.m. Wednesday – making a time frame of approximately 14 hours for the vandalism to have occurred.

“The building was obviously targeted because there were no signs of eggs anywhere else,” said Officer Peter Bauer, of the Aspen Police Department, who took the initial report of the incident.

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Bauer said the vandalism is considered criminal mischief.

“There is a cost to cleaning it up, and it could potentially harm the paint on the building,” he said.

Wallison said she had believed the egg-throwing antics were behind the local Republicans. During the first week of October, the GOP house was egged. That led one of the perpetrators’ parents to notify Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo about the vandalism.

Soon after, DiSalvo and Wallison met with the culprits, five seventh- and eighth-graders in the Aspen school system, resulting in a punishment that included the boys writing notes of apology to the Pitkin County Republican Party. Wallison said she didn’t want to expose the boys by having them clean up the mess, but she did have them rake leaves in the headquarters’ front yard to make good on the punishment.

While the Republican headquarters is in the jurisdiction of the Aspen Police Department, DiSalvo helped negotiate an out-of-court deal. Wallison said she did not want to pursue charges at the time, instead making it a learning experience for the youngsters.

Wallison’s leading theory is that some kids, but not the same ones, did it again.

“To have this happen in the midst of the election, it saddens me,” she said. “We should all feel safe in this county.”

She noted that on Tuesday, in the middle of the day, two young boys, likely 12 or 13, stood across the street making obscene gestures toward the headquarters.

Bauer said that for the time being, it’s anybody’s guess as to who threw the eggs.

“Who’s to say it’s kids?” he said. “I have no idea.”

The vandalism is troubling, DiSalvo said.

“If these were kids, they need to get the message that they can’t destroy someone’s property just because they believe differently than them,” he said.

DiSalvo said his department’s school-resource officer plans to address students about tolerance for people of different persuasions.

“I do sympathize with Frieda,” he said. “It’s uncivilized, especially for Aspen, where we talk about tolerance for other people’s opinions and beliefs. This is not the way we want to see our election process go.”

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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