Cops: Road rager strikes Aspen pizza shop
A Basalt man arrested Sept. 29 on suspicion of being involved in a road-rage incident was arrested again three days later for allegedly aggressively confronting a restaurant manager who wouldn’t give him a food discount, according to a police report.
Matthew Kornafel, 31, entered New York Pizza on the Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall about 8 p.m. Oct. 1 and ordered a pizza, the police report states. The manager declined to give him the discount and Kornafel “became irate and began to cause a scene,” according to the report.
“(The manager) stated Kornafel then stole a $3 brownie, went down the stairs to the entrance of New York Pizza and smeared the brownie on the glass entrance door,” the report states. “(The manager) said she had to lock herself inside New York Pizza because she was so scared of Kornafel’s aggressive and erratic behavior.
“(The manager said) customers inside New York Pizza could hear the confrontation and were frightened, as well.”
The manager later said she thought Korafel might “beat me up,” according to the report.
After the confrontation, Kornafel went to New York Pizza’s rear door and began throwing wood chips at it, according to the police report.
An employee of the Green Dragon marijuana dispensary, located downstairs from New York Pizza, saw Kornafel, also a Green Dragon employee, throwing the wood chips and tried to calm him down, the report states. The employee also reported seeing Kornafel pick up a beer keg and throw it at the door.
“(The employee) stated that Kornafel then got into the driver’s seat of his blue Audi and backed into a trash can before driving away onto the … pedestrian mall,” according to the report.
Green Dragon’s manager told police he sent Kornafel home after hearing about the New York Pizza confrontation, “which angered Kornafel even more” and may have prompted him to begin throwing the wood chips, the report states.
“(The manager said) Kornafel learned earlier in the day that he was unable to get a discount on a ski pass this season,” according to the police report. “(The manager said) that when Kornafel arrived for his shift at the Green Dragon he had an ‘I don’t care’ attitude.”
While officers were at New York Pizza, they heard a report from dispatchers about a “reckless driver first at the Aspen roundabout and then at the (Aspen Business Center) headed downvalley,” the report states. “We learned that the reported vehicle belonged to Kornafel.”
Kornafel, who turned himself in to Aspen police Oct. 2, was charged with harassment.
Kornafel was charged with disorderly conduct three days before that after an Aspen police officer saw him standing in traffic on Highway 82 near the Cemetery Lane intersection beating on a the door of a hotel shuttle and yelling obscenities at the driver.
Kornafel later told officers he’d been driving behind the shuttle, but it was going too slow so he passed it in the bus lane. He said the shuttle driver then began tailgating him and taking pictures of him with a cellphone, police said.
When the shuttle driver allegedly stopped close to Kornafel’s car while waiting for the Cemetery Lane stoplight, Kornafel got out of his car and began pounding on the shuttle while yelling at the driver and making obscene finger gestures, police said.
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