Aspen police have ‘basically everybody’ focused on attempted sexual assault investigation
The alleged attack Tuesday on a woman walking alone in Aspen’s East End by a man she didn’t know is rare in this small mountain town, and police are acting accordingly, an Aspen police official said Thursday.
“Reports of stranger attacks such as this are very uncommon in Aspen,” said Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn. “It’s not unheard of but it’s definitely exceptional, so it’s why we’re throwing a lot of resources at it.”
Since receiving the report from the woman about 4:50 a.m. Tuesday, detectives and officers have “knocked on every door within a mile perimeter of the crime scene looking for anybody that might have seen or heard anything,” he said.
As of Thursday afternoon, police had cleared two people of interest and were continuing to look at a third, Linn said. In addition, officers were able to gather 10 surveillance videos from along the alleged victim’s path that night, he said. Those videos are being analyzed.
But while Aspen police have a “significant description” of the man who allegedly tried to sexually assault the woman, they have not yet put together a sketch of him, he said. A sketch cannot be produced in-house at APD.
“We’ve discussed it but we’re not there yet,” Linn said.
The woman told police she was walking alone near the pedestrian bridge at the east end of Hopkins Avenue when the man approached her and attempted to sexually assault her, police said earlier this week. The woman was able to fight off the man and escape without serious injuries.
The man was described as a white male between 40 and 50 years old, with brown hair balding at the top, about 5-feet-9-inches tall with a thin to medium build.
Most Aspen police officers and both detectives were at work on the case Thursday, Linn said.
“Basically everybody we have (is working on the investigation),” he said.
Officers working the night shift also are available to walk concerned citizens to their cars or provide a ride home. Residents who feel unsafe can call APD’s non-emergency number, 970-920-5400, to ask for an officer.
And while Aspen is generally very safe, Linn urged residents to remain aware of their surroundings and not get lost in their phones while walking at night, and encouraged walking in pairs for greater safety.