Chronic violent drunk kicks Aspen cop, again | AspenTimes.com

Chronic violent drunk kicks Aspen cop, again

A 51-year-old Aspen man with a history of alcohol-fueled assaults on city police officers was released from jail Tuesday, then allegedly got drunk and kicked a cop in the leg, according to court documents.

Landin Smith has been fighting with Aspen police officers since at least 2009, when he kicked an officer at Koch Lumber Park. He was arrested at that time for violating a protection order by drinking alcohol and later sentenced to four years in prison for the assault.

Smith served three years and was released in December 2012. About a month later, he kicked another Aspen cop in the leg and was again charged with felony assault on a police officer. He eventually pleaded to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault on a first responder in that case and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Then in February, Aspen Police Sgt. Dan Davis attempted to take an intoxicated Smith to detox at the jail, but Smith began verbally abusing him and tried to escape from the police car. Smith then punched Davis in the face and assaulted him in his car while the officer was driving. For that, he was hit with yet another felony charge of assaulting a police officer.

Smith, who is facing a mandatory four years in prison for the assault, has been in the Pitkin County Jail ever since, with the exception of a brief period in early summer. However, he was able to post bond and get out of jail again Tuesday.

But hours later — at about 6 p.m. — police received a call from the homeless shelter at St. Mary's Church on Main Street about an intoxicated person, according to an affidavit written by Officer Terry Leitch.

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Three other officers initially contacted Smith, though he apparently recognized Leitch from many previous contacts when the officer approached.

"Finally, someone I can talk to," Smith said to Leitch. "I'll talk to you. These guys don't know me."

Smith smelled of alcohol and the officers discovered that his bond conditions forbid drinking, according to the affidavit. The officers handcuffed Smith and arrested him for the violation, but he pushed one of them with his shoulder and began yelling obscenities at them.

Smith then began kicking at one of the officers and threatening to kill him, the affidavit states. The officers put leg restraints on Smith, but he continued to fight and kick. The officers somehow managed to get him outside the church, but he refused to get into a police car and continued to "kick, thrash and shout obscenities."

The officers then restrained his ankles and called an ambulance, the affidavit states.

"Man, could you just help me?" Smith said to Leitch just before the ambulance arrived. "I'll listen to you."

Smith calmed down and was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he was medically cleared and returned to police custody.

"I am not going back to jail," Smith told officers and again refused to get into a patrol car.

Leitch eventually persuaded Smith to get into the patrol car, then again talked him into getting out at the jail, according to the affidavit. Leitch decided to stay at the jail while Smith was booked in case his powers of persuasion were again needed.

"Suddenly, without provocation, Smith looked at me and stated something to the effect of 'You motherf—–,'" the affidavit states. "Smith then aggressively pulled away from jail staff and kicked me in the right lower leg with a strong amount of force, causing sharp pain."

As officers escorted him away, Smith said, "I'll be assaulting an officer if I go in there," according to the affidavit.

Smith was again charged with felony assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and violating bond conditions.

jauslander@aspentimes.com