Arrested woman maintains she’s related to Tancredo
September 15, 2007
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The woman arrested after what was described as a racially motivated altercation swears she is related to Colorado congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo’s press secretary, Carlos Espinosa, said Thursday that Tom Tancredo wasn’t aware of any relative by that name. On Friday, his Washington, D.C., office said it would investigate, but didn’t call back within a few hours.
Crystal Ann Tancredo, 26, called the Post Independent in response to a news article about her arrest printed on Friday.
Tancredo, who says she’s Tom Tancredo’s great niece, was arrested Sept. 4 outside the Burning Mountain Bowl in New Castle.
In a phone interview, Crystal Tancredo said a New Castle police officer was way out of line during the incident.
“They took the illegal immigrants’ side over my side,” she said. “It felt like they had more rights than I did, and it’s not fair. … I said, ‘Officer, I come from a good family; my great uncle is Tom Tancredo.'”
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She said the officer tried to mace everyone for no reason and put handcuffs on her when she tried to leave that were so tight that her wrists turned purple.
Crystal Tancredo said she and her boyfriend were leaving when someone came out and threatened her boyfriend. She was just trying to push them away, she said.
She noted that prosecutors filed only some of the police charges.
On Wednesday, the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed only charges of resisting arrest, harassment and disorderly conduct. Police had first arrested her on suspicion of the additional charges of assault on a peace officer and ethnic intimidation.
According to police, an officer heard loud voices and separated parties he believed were about to fight in the parking lot. Crystal Tancredo and her boyfriend said they had nothing to do with it and were leaving, but the officer wrote in an arrest affidavit that a bartender later told him he saw Tancredo pushing someone in the chest. The officer wrote that Tancredo swore and yelled racial epithets like “wetbacks,” refused to comply in various ways, jerked her hands around when he tried to handcuff her and at one point said, “I don’t have to move, my uncle is Tom Tancredo.”
Isaac Taylor, manager on duty at the Burning Mountain Bowl that night, said he pretty much saw the whole thing and that Crystal and her boyfriend will not be welcomed back. He said her claims of police misconduct are “ridiculous.”
“I think the police were acting very professional,” he said. “They separated the parties, tried to communicate and talk to every side to see what the problem was. She was just talked to until she attacked the police officer.”
Taylor gave an account similar to the version of events in the arrest affidavit. He said Tancredo’s boyfriend made some kind of racial comments that others overheard while playing poker. Her boyfriend was approached as he went outside the bar and confronted about the comments in an aggressive way, Taylor said.
“It was happening all night,” he said. “The other party was staying calm, trying to ignore it.”
Taylor said Crystal Tancredo had been drinking, but not to the point where she was completely out of control. However, she was making a scene outside in front of police.
“She was probably the most aggressive out of all of them,” Taylor said. “She was constantly pushing people. She was just yelling and screaming. I was trying to break up the fight and she was the main one I was worried about.”
Tom Tancredo, whose campaign website describes him as a lifelong conservative with nearly a decade of experience in Congress, announced on April 2 that he would run for the Republican presidential nomination. In Congress, “he advanced his reputation as a solid pro-life, pro-gun, small government republican, and emerged as the leader in the national struggle for true immigration reform,” his website says.
Crystal Tancredo said she’s met Tom Tancredo, but hasn’t ever really spent time with him because he’s so busy.
“I love what he’s doing,” she said. “The laws and stuff with immigration.”