Alleged choking leads to arrest of rambling ‘athletic sportster’
A homeless man arrested Saturday for allegedly strangling and assaulting a woman who allowed him to sleep on her couch was ordered held Monday in lieu of a $5,000 cash-only bond.
During a bond hearing Monday, Aradeus Daffin, 33, denied committing violence against the woman, said he routinely helps “elderly people cross the street” and repeatedly interrupted and disrupted the virtual proceedings, forcing District Judge Chris Seldin to mute him.
“I never did anything violent to her,” Daffin said.
He also declined the services of a public defender, saying he had training in the law though he’d never been to law school.
“I believe I already have the best attorney, and that’s me,” Daffin said. “I’m a skateboarder (and) an athletic sportster.”
The woman told police that on Saturday afternoon, Daffin threw a metal aerosol can at her, then threw her down on the couch, got on top of her, punched her twice in the face then choked her for about a minute, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court. She told police she had to fight “for my life” to get away from him.
That followed other incidents of violence in which Daffin allegedly struck her, threw tennis balls at her and talked “nonsense” frequently in previous days, according to affidavit. She said she allowed Daffin to stay at her home because he appeared homeless and down on his luck.
When police attempted to speak with Dafffin at the woman’s apartment building in Snowmass Village, he ran away. When Snowmass Village police officers and Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies caught up with him not long after, he behaved aggressively toward them and “continually just rambled nonsensical statements toward us,” according to the arrest affidavit.
“(The woman) told (a police officer) that she was very worried that Daffin was out of jail and would come and kill her,” the affidavit states.
Seldin said Monday that when he read the affidavit, he was initially concerned that Daffin needed a competency evaluation, though he declined to order such an evaluation Monday.
“I do find that the allegations of violence are concerning,” Seldin said.
Daffin was charged with felony second-degree assault/strangulation, misdemeanor third-degree assault, menacing, theft and domestic violence. In addition, Seldin approved a protection order forbidding Daffin from contacting the victim.
In other court news Monday:
• A 26-year-old Aspen woman spent Sunday night at the Aspen Police Department after a man she was dating allegedly took her phone and pinned her to the floor after accusing her of cheating on him, according to court documents.
Hayden Polenz, 27, and the woman had only been dating for three weeks when they went to a small party Sunday thrown by her boss. At the party, Polenz — who accused her of being with other men throughout the short relationship — made a scene and accused her of “having a thing with her boss,” though the boss was more than 60 years old, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.
Polenz left the party but was inside the woman’s apartment drinking wine when she arrived home and continued to accuse her of cheating on him, the affidavit states. He refused to leave and allegedly threw a glass of wine at her before he pinned her to the ground when she tried to call 911, according to the affidavit.
The woman had to run to another apartment, where a neighbor called 911 for her.
“(The woman) was given refuge at the Aspen Police Department for the rest of the evening to provide her safety,” the affidavit states.
District Judge Chris Seldin allowed Polenz, who had no prior violent criminal history, out of jail on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, which means he didn’t have to put up any money though he could be liable for the money if he doesn’t show up for future court dates. Seldin also approved a protection order forbidding Polenz from contacting the victim.
Polenz was charged with felony burglary, theft, harassment, obstruction of telephone service and domestic violence.
• A 30-year-old Carbondale man withdrew a plea to felony second-degree assault Monday after terms of a plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office were not met.
Benito Santoyo agreed to the plea in March for his part in the July 2018 beating of a teenager who allegedly stole a cache of marijuana. He faced between five and 16 years in a rigorous Garfield County-based rehabilitation program called “community corrections,” though he was eventually rejected from the program.
The rejection allowed him to withdraw from the plea, which he did Monday, and his case was set for trial in October.
Santoyo was the third and final person to plead in connection with the beating of the 18-year-old Carbondale man at the teen’s home.
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UPDATE 5:27 p.m. — Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon has reopened in both directions Saturday evening after a safety closure due to a flash flood warning. There were no reported mud/debris slides.