Bloody snowballs lead to Aspen man’s arrest
December 16, 2016
A 46-year-old Aspen man was arrested early Thursday morning for throwing bloody snowballs at his girlfriend's window, according to court documents.
Michael Torres, who also may have been walking around on the roof of the woman's apartment, was charged with harassment, domestic violence and violating a protection order by drinking alcohol, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Pitkin County Court.
Torres also was arrested less than a year ago for harassment after allegedly climbing onto a second-story balcony and peering into a bedroom where his ex-wife and their three children were sleeping, court documents state.
The latest incident began at about 1 a.m. Thursday, when Torres' girlfriend called emergency dispatchers and reported that he was throwing snowballs at the window of her apartment on Aspen's east side, documents state.
By the time a Pitkin County sheriff's deputy responded, the snowball throwing had stopped, but the deputy located a fresh set of footprints in the snow near the woman's apartment.
"I followed the footprints to the backyard, down a steep embankment and across a small creek near the back of the residence," Deputy Ryan Turner wrote in the affidavit. "While following the footprints, I observed what appeared to be fresh blood in the snow."
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The footprints ended near a vehicle in a nearby parking lot.
"I looked under the vehicle and found Torres hiding underneath (it)," the affidavit states. "Torres stated to me that he was sleeping."
Turner smelled alcohol coming from Torres, which violated a protection order issued in relation to his previous arrest, according to the affidavit.
The girlfriend told Turner she and Torres got into an argument Wednesday night, she asked him to leave and he did. Then around 1 a.m., the woman woke up to the sound of snowballs hitting her apartment, the affidavit states. "(The girlfriend) estimated that approximately 40 snowballs were thrown at her apartment," according to the affidavit. "(She) further explained that the sounds she was hearing were consistent with someone climbing on her roof."
The woman later found "bloody snow caked on her window screens," while the sheriff's deputy discovered a small table placed underneath the roof with fresh blood nearby, the affidavit states. The deputy could not determine conclusively if anyone had been on the roof.
The woman said she was "terrified" by the incident for herself and her young daughter, the affidavit states.
Torres' previous arrest occurred at about 2 a.m. Dec. 23, 2015, when Snowmass Village police officers found him at an apartment where his ex-wife was staying, according to court documents. They charged him with harassment, trespassing and domestic violence.
Torres pleaded guilty in July to trespassing and was placed on one year of unsupervised probation, according to court records.
On Thursday, Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely allowed Torres out of jail on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. However, she ordered him to undergo sobriety monitoring.