Aspen neighbor’s alleged harassment escalates

An Aspen woman who allegedly used a pick axe to attack her neighbor’s house Thursday in retaliation for a prior misdemeanor complaint involving police was arrested and charged with a felony, according to court records.

Lisa Ruggieri, 57, faces one count of felony retaliation against a witness after she was allegedly caught on video repeatedly attacking a wall of the house next door, the other side of which is the room of her neighbor’s 10-month-old son, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed Friday in Pitkin County District Court.

“(The neighbor) mentioned that due to this incident, his wife and 10-month-old had left the house to go stay (elsewhere) for the night,” the affidavit states.

Aspen police initially tried to contact Ruggieri because she called them Thursday and said she wanted to report a harassment. When an officer called her back, she was “extremely rude” and eventually said a female neighbor was following her around the neighborhood, according to the affidavit.

She told an officer “the neighbor was ‘trying to convince her of her line of thinking and I’m telling her that I don’t want to listen,’” the document states.

The officer saw that Ruggieri had been cited for harassing her neighbors about two weeks before, so he contacted that neighbor. The man told him he thought Ruggieri was calling about another neighbor who’d earlier been trying to calm Ruggieri from an “anger episode,” according to the affidavit.

In the course of the discussion, the neighbor also reported that a family member had taken video footage of Ruggieri kicking a water jug against the side of their house where his son sleeps. He forwarded the videos to the officer.

The first showed Ruggieri kick a large plastic water jug against the home five times, while the second depicted her “slamming a rock twice into the side of (the) residence,” the affidavit states.

“The third video sent to me … shows Ruggieri kicking a rock into the side of part of (the) house and then using a pick axe near the base of the house,” according to the affidavit. “The pick axe looks as though it’s hitting part of the house near the base of the siding but it’s hard to tell from the angle of the video.”

District Judge Chris Seldin allowed Ruggieri out of jail Friday on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond. That means she didn’t have to put up any money to be released from jail, though she will owe the court $2,500 if she doesn’t show up for future court dates.

Seldin also filed a mandatory restraining order and warned Ruggieri not to have any contact with her neighbors.


See more