Basalt teen in trouble again
A Basalt-area youth who got into a verbal confrontation with a cop last winter is facing two possible charges in an unrelated matter for allegedly losing his cool outside of a courtroom.
Robert Peters, 18, could face charges of careless driving and “speed contest” for allegedly squealing his tires as he left traffic court at the Blue Lake Community Center on June 14, according to Eagle County Deputy Sheriff Dave Lawson.
Peters appeared in court after getting a speeding ticket from an Eagle County deputy March 2.
“Mr. Peters was stomping around the court wanting the citation dropped,” Deputy Lawson said in his report. “Mr. Peters was telling the clerk and judge that all cops are after him and that this citation needed to be resolved.”
Peters’ mother, Cheryl Kisow, also appeared in the courtroom and wanted to know how to fight the ticket. Kisow alleged that the deputy issuing the ticket was a “liar” because his patrol car was traveling the opposite direction as Peters’ vehicle, according to Lawson. The mother claimed her son couldn’t have been clocked accurately – which Lawson disputed.
Kisow eventually left the courtroom and Peters pleaded guilty to a lesser violation, according to Lawson’s report.
“Mr. Peters got into his vehicle and `squealed’ the tires in reverse, then within 20 feet of Deputy District Attorney Taggert Howard, `squealed’ his tires from the parking lot and onto J.W. Drive and then accelerated northbound at a high rate of speed,” Lawson’s report said.
The act was allegedly witnessed by Eagle County Judge Terry Diem, the court clerk, and two deputy sheriffs, as well as the deputy district attorney, the report said.
Lawson followed up with a telephone conversation with Peters two days later.
“Mr. Peters was rude and tried to make excuses for his behavior,” Lawson wrote. “Mr. Peters advised me that the studs which are still on his vehicle tires are to blame for his spinning of his tires.
“When I advised him that this is not true, he then did tell me that he was very angry with the court and this is part of the reason for his driving,” the report continued. “Mr. Peters then went on to say that the court told him that he was found guilty due to his experience with the Basalt cop.
“At this point, I advised Mr. Peters that our conversation was over and that he could expect me to contact him with the possibility of a citation after contacting the witnesses on this.”
Peters declined to discuss with The Aspen Times the incident or the allegation that he’s a marked man among valley cops. Peters, who graduated from Basalt High School this year, said he is anxious to leave the Roaring Fork Valley in two weeks.
His experience with the Basalt cop occurred March 1. Sgt. Chris Maniscalchi pulled Peters over on a traffic stop, then suggested that Peters avoid confrontations with another Basalt High School student.
Peters then cursed the officer several times and Maniscalchi responded with a threat that Peters would face the consequences if he didn’t heed the officer’s advice, according to a report.
Peters and his mother complained to the town government that the stop was harassment. The town hired an outside investigator, then concluded Maniscalchi had done nothing wrong.
Deputy Lawson said the March 2 speeding ticket was issued by a deputy who knew nothing about Peters’ confrontation with Maniscalchi the day before.
Lawson also noted that this latest incident had five witnesses, so it isn’t a case of one cop pursuing action. If charges are pursued, the case would be referred to Pitkin or Garfield County court, since the Eagle County judge is a witness, Lawson said.
The speed contest charge is on the books for violations for “acceleration exhibition” – such as squealing tires, Lawson said. It carries a penalty of 12 points on a driving record upon conviction, making it one of the more costly traffic violations.
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