Aspen ‘extreme’ man to face only misdemeanor
A Saudi Arabian man who spilled cocaine on an Aspen taxi driver the day after Thanksgiving and exposed himself to the man will face only a misdemeanor charge in the case.
Majed Alhamad, 23, was charged with misdemeanor harassment after the District Attorney’s Office dropped a charge of felony cocaine possession. That’s because the residue of the alleged drug that remained after Alhamad was arrested wasn’t enough to send for testing, said Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryant.
Though a presumptive test done by police indicated it was cocaine, such tests are not admissible in court, she said.
Alhamad — a student in Los Angeles — was arrested early in the morning Nov. 27 after a 60-year-old driver for High Mountain Taxi told police Alhamad offered him cocaine several times during a ride to the St. Regis Resort. When the driver refused, Alhamad became angry, used a derogatory racial term toward the man and called him a “f—ing American,” according to court documents.
The driver also said Alhamad exposed his genitals to him before opening a small baggie of cocaine and spilling it on him, the documents state.
Alhamad told police he bought the drug for $100 from a man he didn’t know on the street, but said it was actually baby powder and not cocaine. He admitted using vulgar language toward the driver, but said he didn’t spill the powder on him.
Alhamad, who smelled of alcohol, told police he “wanted to go ‘extreme’ while in Aspen,” according to court documents.
Alhamad appeared in Pitkin County District Court on Monday, where a judge allowed him to travel to Saudi Arabia during the winter break to visit family. Bryan did not object to the trip out of the country. His case will now be handled in Pitkin County Court.
In other court news
A 27-year-old man who drove his truck through Base Village in Snowmass Village earlier this year was sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to a felony and his third DUI in two years.
Dayton Duvall drove through a gate allowing vehicular access to the Base Village at about 4:30 a.m. June 14 and onto Base Village Plaza, said Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson. He spun the tires of his truck repeatedly and drove deep, black skid marks into the brick, he said.
Duvall then spun off the edge of the plaza and into a set of metal stairs, where he became stuck and smoked his tires again in an effort to get out, Olson said.
Duvall pleaded guilty Monday to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor DUI in the case and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of supervised probation. However, his lawyer, Arthur Walsh, said Duvall is working as a diesel mechanic and receiving treatment and counseling in Adams County, and requested his client be able to participate in a jail work-release program for his 60-day sentence.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan objected to that, saying he put numerous people in danger during the latest incident. Also, because it was his third DUI in two years, she said he clearly has a problem with drinking and driving and should have to do some jail time as punishment.
District Judge Chris Seldin said he didn’t want to derail Duvall’s efforts to improve his life, though he agreed with Bryan that some jail time was necessary, so he split the difference.
Seldin sentenced Duvall to 30 days in the Pitkin County Jail and 30 days work release in the Adams County Jail provided the latter agrees to take him. Duvall also will be monitored for sobriety and have to serve 48 hours of community service.
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Pitkin County commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a shorter, leaner version of an affordable housing complex at the Aspen Business Center that will be built for firefighters.