Aspen motorist faces felony charge after allegedly hitting a pedestrian
Ryan Summerlin May 30, 2014
An Aspen man known for his volunteer efforts was arrested on Friday after he allegedly yelled at a female pedestrian, hit her with his vehicle and drove away as she was crossing Cooper Avenue on the morning of April 12.
Larry D. Fredrick, 64, faces a felony charge of menacing and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving. He used $2,750 cash to bond out of jail shortly after his arrest late Friday morning, and made a brief appearance in Pitkin County District Court on Monday. He was represented by attorney Lawson Wills, and he received permission from District Judge Gail Nichols to travel to Las Vegas in mid-May.
Fredrick could not be reached by phone for comment on Monday. Wills said in court that Fredrick has no criminal history.
According to the Aspen Historical Society’s website, Fredrick is a “star volunteer and official historian” for the organization, and provides history training for its volunteers and interns. He also conducts tours of places of historical interest for elementary school children in the area, the site says. He has won many awards for local volunteerism.
There was no explanation in court as to why Fredrick was not arrested until Friday, nearly three weeks after the alleged incident. Nichols issued the arrest warrant on April 18.
In a written statement, Aspen policeman Brian Stevens said that on April 12 at around 8 a.m., he was dispatched to a call of a hit-and-run accident at the corner of Hunter Street and Cooper Avenue. There, he met a woman who said she had witnessed a minivan traveling east on Cooper Avenue near Boogie’s Diner. The van’s driver was honking his horn at another woman who was crossing the street.
The witness said the other woman gave the driver “the finger” and continued walking. “The car then sped up, hit the woman and drove off,” Stevens said.
When interviewed, the alleged victim said she was headed to work in the vicinity of Boogie’s Diner when she saw a minivan traveling toward her as it was headed east on Cooper Avenue from Galena Street. She thought she had plenty of time to cross safely, but the motorist approached and began honking.
The alleged victim told Stevens that she flipped off the motorist and continued walking. To her surprise, she said, the car then “sped up and hit her on her left side, knocking her ski boots from her arm,” leaving her with a bruise, according to Stevens’ report.
The same motorist yelled at her during a similar situation as she was crossing Cooper Street at the same location a few weeks earlier, she said.
Another witness interviewed by the police officer gave a similar account of the incident.
The alleged victim and witnesses gave Stevens the license plate number of the minivan, and Stevens contacted him. Fredrick visited the police officer “on his own volition” later that morning.
“Fredrick said he had an incident with (the alleged victim) earlier in the morning and that (she) was the same person that he had an altercation with a few weeks ago,” Stevens wrote.
“Fredrick said he was enraged by this morning’s incident and felt that (she) was ‘arrogant’ and endangering drivers by crossing the road outside of the crosswalk,” the policeman added.
The witnesses told Stevens that there was no way the motorist could have failed to know that he hit the pedestrian.
The alleged victim stated that the motorist yelled to her, during the first altercation, “How old are you? Three?” And during the second incident, he referred to her as a “3 year old,” according to Stevens’ report.
Fredrick’s next court appearance was set for June 2.