Aspen transient confesses to shoplifting
ASPEN – A city judge Wednesday ordered an Aspen transient to pay a $250 fine for shoplifting from a downtown sporting goods shop nearly two weeks ago.
Deegan Jaycocks Nimmich, 33, told substitute Judge Ted Gardenswartz that “I made a dumb mistake” when he swiped a jacket from the North Face Summit Shop. He said he’d been partying at the Belly Up Aspen the night before in the incident, and on the next morning, Sept. 17, he downed a few mimosas before entering the East Cooper Avenue retailer.
“I don’t recall taking the jacket,” he said. “I’d like to think that these were nonmalicious intentions, but I don’t know.”
According to an Aspen Police Department report, which is based in part on interviews with a North Face employee and two shoppers at the store, Nimmich left the store wearing a ladies’ rain jacket with a retail value of $384.
Nimmich then sat in a table in front of the Chocolate Factory store next door and pulled off the jackets’ tags. A shopper who witnessed the incident followed him to his next destination, McDonald’s, where she confronted him about the jacket. Nimmich seemed a bit surprised but handed the coat over to the shopper, who returned it to the North Face store, the report says.
Meanwhile, police were called to the North Face and given an identification of Nimmich, and arrested him later on a shoplifting charge. Nimmich has a history of shoplifting and petty larceny, according to police. He told the judge that he hasn’t consumed alcohol since the recent shoplifting episode and works every day.
“I’m terribly sorry to the city of Aspen and the North Face,” he said, adding that he is receiving help for his admitted problem.
Replied Gardenswartz: “I want you to take your alcohol issue seriously.”
Along with the $250 fine, Nimmich was also ordered to pay $35 in court costs.
In other court news, an apparent road rage incident on Cemetery Lane, set for trial Wednesday, was canceled.
Three defendants were set to stand three separate trials in front of Gardenswartz: Bertaldo Delacruz Zacarias for driving too closely, Jessica Bates for failing to yield and Peter Brown for disorderly conduct. But city prosecutor Jim True, after meeting privately for about 10 minutes with the defendants, announced to the judge that the cases would be dismissed without prejudice, meaning the charges can be refiled at a later date.
The dismissal came after Aspen police cited the three on Aug. 29. That’s when Zacarias, 29, was driving a Ford F-350 pickup truck behind a small Toyota car that Bates was driving, according to a police report.
Brown, who was riding in the passenger seat of the Toyota, apparently became irate because of the tailgating, leaning out of the car window and yelling profanities at Zacarias, the report says.
Brown later called law-enforcement authorities, telling a Pitkin County deputy that the truck had been tailgating. The deputy later pulled over Zacarias, who denied following too closely, and that Bates failed to yield when she took a right off Power Plant Road onto Cemetery Lane.
Aspen police officer Jeff Fain then took over the case, since it happened in the APD’s jurisdiction, and interviewed the three. Brown insisted that Zacarias be ticketed for following too closely, but Fain initially said if he was to issue one ticket he’d probably have to issue others as well. Brown became upset, accusing Fain of playing favorites, Fain wrote in the report.
“Brown stated that if I did not issue a citation he would be calling my supervisor and writing a letter to the paper,” Fain wrote. “I finally was able to get Brown to stop screaming at me … and tried my best to explain to him that if I was to issue a citation to [Zacarias] on his behalf, I had no excuse but to issue a citation to him on [Zacarias’] behalf.”
Brown, however, did not settle down, wrote Fain, prompting the officer to end the conversation by telling Brown that he and his girlfriend, Bates, would need to drop by the courthouse to receive their citations.
On Thursday, True said there were too many inconsistencies in the case to go forward with the three trials.
“There was a lot of contradictory testimony – he said versus she said – and I didn’t think it was appropriate to pursue any of the cases,” he said.
Elsewhere on the local crime scene, the Aspen Police Department issued the following recap of citations and arrests from Sept. 16-27. The arrests/citations do not reflect a disposition in the cases:
Sept. 16, 10:50 p.m. – Police officers observed two men sitting on a bench with an open container of alcohol. Aspen-area residents Arthur Myatt, 47, and Martin Navarrete, 38, each received a municipal court summons for open container prohibited.
Sept. 17, 11:55 p.m. – Quincy Rouson, 32, of Aspen, was issued a court summons for resisting and interfering with an officer after he approached and verbally abused Aspen police officers while they were on foot patrol downtown.
Sept. 19, 11:08 p.m. – Brian Rankin, 33, of Aspen, was charged with DUI, driving without valid license, driving with license restrained for DUI and headlamps required.
Sept. 21, 9:48 p.m. – Officers, responding to a report of a disturbance at Junk, arrested Aspen-area resident James Griebling, 51, for disorderly conduct and open container prohibited.
Sept. 23, 3:39 p.m. – Jacob Lancianese, 27, Aspen, was charged with DUI, careless driving and following too closely.
Sept. 24, 12:07 a.m. – Jimmy Baldwin, 31, of the Aspen area, was arrested and issued a court summons for disorderly conduct and open container prohibited.
Sept. 24, 15:20 p.m. – David Cain, 26, of Glenwood Springs, was issued a court summons for open container prohibited.
Sept. 27, 10:45 a.m. – Jeffrey Nitz, 49, of the Aspen area, was issued a court summons for urinating in public prohibited.
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