Aspen dispensary robber from 2015 case arrested Sunday for similar crime at Basalt pot shop
A local man who robbed an Aspen marijuana dispensary with a hammer four-and-a-half years ago allegedly committed nearly the same crime Sunday night in Basalt, according to police reports.
The only difference this time was that Hayden May, 26, allegedly used a pocketknife Sunday instead of a hammer to rob employees, and stole more than $3,200 in cash instead of jars of weed, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed Monday in Pitkin County District Court.
May was arrested on a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus in Aspen almost immediately after the robbery of Roots Rx in Basalt because — like his Aspen armed robbery in July 2015 — dispensary employees recognized him. Reports also indicate that May might be same person who broke into the same shop Feb. 18 but fled before taking anything, according to a Basalt police officer.
Sunday’s incident occurred about 6 p.m. at the Roots Rx dispensary on Southside Drive in Basalt when May allegedly entered wearing a black sweatshirt, jogging pants and a ski mask, according to the affidavit filed by Basalt police.
“… (The) male entered the store wearing a mask, stating something (to) the effect of ‘Give me the money,’” the affidavit states. “The male pointed the knife at the employees while entering.”
He told a female employee to open the cash registers while warning a male employee to back off or he’d “kick his f—ing ass,” according to the court document.
“(The female employee) informed me that while she opened the registers for the male … she said ‘Hayden’ to the male,” the affidavit states. “(She) further stated that she recognized the male as Hayden from his voice and his eyes … (and) that she knew Hayden because he was a frequent customer.
“(The male employee) informed me that he thought the male was Hayden due to his stature.”
May allegedly fled with both cash drawers, which contained $3,290. The drawers and a North Face sweatshirt were recovered by police nearby, according to the affidavit.
Not long after, May allegedly boarded an Aspen-bound RFTA bus at Willits. Soon after that, a RFTA dispatcher advised drivers to be on the lookout “for a skinny white male subject” the bus driver suspected might be May, according to an Aspen police report.
At a Basalt bus stop, the driver exited the bus, called RFTA dispatchers and reported her suspicions.
Aspen police officers boarded the bus at Garmisch and Main streets and ordered May to stand up. May, instead, tried to flee and began fighting with the two officers, who eventually handcuffed May after his leg became trapped in the bus door, according to the Aspen police report. He also attempted to escape from officers when they took him off the bus, which caused minor injuries to two officers. Officers eventually searched him once they had him on the ground outside the bus.
“(An officer) asked Hayden if he had any weapons on him,” the report states. “Hayden replied something to the effect (of), ‘No but the cash is in my pocket here’ and reached for his right jacket pocket.”
Officers found $3,000 in cash in his jacket pocket and another $300 in his wallet, the report states.
May was charged with robbery, theft between $2,000 and $5,000 and menacing with a deadly weapon, all felonies. Other charges may be pending.
Basalt police executed a search warrant Sunday night at May’s home, and it turned up clothing that matched the clothes worn by the man who broke into Roots Rx in Basalt on Feb. 17, said Basalt Police Lt. Aaron Munch. That man fled without taking anything after alarms went off, police have said.
However, a public defender appointed Monday to represent May said the evidence linking him to Sunday’s armed robbery was weak, including witness identification she called “shaky.” In addition, May has an alibi as to his whereabouts Sunday, while the $3,000 in cash he had in his pocket was his rent money, said public defender Ashley Andrews.
May’s father and brother live in the area and he works at a restaurant in the Willits area, said Andrews, who requested a personal recognizance bond.
Prosecutor Don Nottingham said there was nothing wrong with the witness identification of May.
“I disagree that the ID is shaky,” he said.
Further, Nottingham said that because of May’s previous conviction for armed robbery, he could now face between 10 and 32 years in prison if convicted of the same charge again. He asked for a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
District Judge Chris Seldin said it appeared to him that officers “had a good array of evidence linking the defendant to the charges” before setting bond at $15,000 cash or surety.
“I’m disappointed we’re here,” Seldin said, looking directly at May.
“I’m disappointed as well,” May said. “This is a shot in the dark.”
May attempted to say more but Seldin cut him off. He is due back in court March 16.
May used a hammer to rob the Stash dispensary — now called Euflora — on July 28, 2015, telling employees there, who also were his friends, that he was desperate. He then stole several large jars of marijuana, fled the store, stole an SUV from a former employer and apparently headed east on Interstate 70.
St. Louis police attempted to pull him over in the next day west of that city, though he declined to stop and led them on a high-speed chase that reached 100 mph. He did not stop until he crashed head-on into a police car, injuring an officer inside, then hit a utility pole.
He later pleaded guilty to robbery, theft and aggravated motor vehicle theft — all felonies — in Aspen and was sentenced to 464 days in jail, four years of probation and ordered to serve 200 hours of community service.
May also faced charges in Missouri over the his arrest there, though it was not clear Monday how that case was resolved.
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