Aspen man ‘has no idea’ why neighbor attacked him
A 36-year-old local man is facing a felony burglary charge after allegedly kicking in his neighbor’s door last weekend and assaulting him, according to court documents.
Kevin Nielsen, who also was charged with misdemeanor assault, told police he was angry because his neighbor wasn’t doing enough to help the neighbor’s homeless brother, according to a police report filed in Aspen District Court.
The neighbor, however, said Nielsen had never confronted him about how he treats his brother in the past and had no idea that was the reason behind the beating, the report states.
The neighbor told police he saw Nielsen outside their apartments in the 900 block of East Durant Avenue at about 9:30 p.m. Friday while talking to two other friends. Nielsen was “‘drunk’ and talking about how he was frustrated with ‘people,’” the victim told police, according to the report.
Nielsen left 15 minutes later while the neighbor continued talking to his friends for another 45 minutes before heading to his apartment and falling asleep on the couch, the report states.
“About 15 minutes later, Nielsen violently ‘kicked the door open,’ charged him and punched him in the face,” according to the victim’s statement in the police report.
The neighbor said he fought with Nielsen to get him out of the apartment but Nielsen threw him down a flight of stairs outside, the report states.
“(The neighbor) again stated he had no idea why he was attacked by Nielsen,” according to the police report.
Nielsen told police he’s known the neighbor for two years and considers him a friend. However, he was concerned about the neighbor’s homeless brother.
“Nielsen feels (the neighbor) should be a better brother and help (his brother) more than he currently is,” according to the report. “Nielsen said he was angry with (the neighbor) and went to his apartment specifically to confront him.”
Nielsen said he opened the unlocked front door and found the neighbor lying awake on the couch. The neighbor then threw a punch at Nielsen, and Nielsen punched him in the face. Nielsen admitted to pushing the neighbor down the stairs, according to the police report.
Another neighbor who heard the fight Friday night “said he knows Nielsen to be a heavy drinker and drug user and knows him to be violent when he’s intoxicated,” the report states. That neighbor “recalled an incident when Nielsen almost pushed another neighbor off the balcony a few weeks earlier,” according to the report.
That neighbor also said the victim “is a calm and ‘gentle’ person and couldn’t imagine him hitting anyone,” the report states.
A police officer asked Nielsen why he didn’t just knock on the door if he wanted to talk to the neighbor about his brother.
“He said he didn’t know,” the report states. “He said he drinks too much and needs to get back into AA.”
The neighbor who was attacked confirmed he has a homeless brother and has been helping him “the best way he can,” according to the police report.
District Judge Chris Seldin allowed Nielsen to be released from jail Monday on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond after entering a mandatory protection order forbidding Nielsen from having any contact with the man, according to court documents.
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