Razor blade attacker facing possible prison | AspenTimes.com

Razor blade attacker facing possible prison

A 31-year-old Alabama man who lunged at Aspen police officers this winter with razor blades he pulled from his mouth pleaded guilty Monday to felony menacing.

Matthew Atwood of Montgomery, Alabama, faces between one and three years in prison when he is sentenced in October. In exchange for the plea, the other charges filed against him, including assault, possession of weapons by a previous offender, carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct, will be dismissed.

The plea deal with the District Attorney's Office includes no agreement about sentencing, meaning it will be up to District Judge Chris Seldin to decide Atwood's punishment.

Atwood had apparently just arrived in Aspen on Feb. 20, when officers first contacted him at the Local's Corner convenience store at about 11 p.m., according to court documents. Atwood behaved aggressively, but Aspen police officers did not arrest him and instead felt they'd calmed him down before leaving, documents state. However, less than two hours later, cops were called to Rubey Park about Atwood, who was exhibiting "erratic behavior." Atwood told officers he was "mentally unstable" before removing the razor blades from his mouth, adopting a fighting stance and lunging at them with the blades, according to documents.

While one officer drew his gun and two other officers drew their Tasers, none fired them. Atwood was arrested soon after without incident.

A prosecutor said in February that Atwood, a father of four, had previously been convicted of felonies in Pennsylvania and Florida.

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In other court news Monday:

A 24-year-old woman who claimed she accidentally backed her car into a pond at Aspen Meadows last month has been hit with more charges, including possession of LSD and theft of a second hotel van, a prosecutor said Monday.

Elizabeth Bergquist of Glenwood Springs initially reported her 2006 Chevrolet Malibu stolen after the car was found floating in the pond at the Doerr-Hosier Center at Aspen Meadows during Aspen Ideas Festival. She later admitted to mistakenly backing the car into the pond, then getting out of the pond, removing her socks and entering a hotel van to try and get warm, according to court documents.

She admitted to moving the van, which was found crashed into a wall and was running at about 4 a.m. by a hotel employee. Police later found the socks, along with a small marijuana container, about 200 yards from the pond as well as what appeared to be Bergquist's car keys inside the van.

Bergquist told police she later walked to a bus stop on Eighth Street and caught the bus downvalley to Glenwood Springs. That, however, may not be accurate, prosecutor Sarah Oszczakiewicz said Monday.

That's because a second Aspen Meadows van was reported missing and later found in the downtown Aspen area, she said. Bergquist was charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft for allegedly stealing that van, Oszczakiewicz said. The LSD was found among her possessions left in the vans, she said.

Bergquist faces numerous other charges, including false reporting to authorities, two counts of failure to report an accident, two counts of striking another vehicle or property, two counts of trespassing and driving with a revoked license.

jauslander@aspentimes.com

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