Cops: troubling crimes on rise in Avon |

Cops: troubling crimes on rise in Avon

Steve Lynn
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

AVON ” A woman was beaten and robbed early this week, the seventh serious crime to occur in this community west of Vail in a month’s time, according to Avon police.

Elitza Bojilova, 21, of Avon, was punched and kicked in the back of the head as she walked past bus stop at Avon Center, authorities said.

“I think it’s very bad,” said Miglena Dimova, who moved to Avon from Bulgaria a year ago and was with Bojilova, her roommate, during the alleged attack. “I never heard of this situation.”

Nine violent or “potentially violent” crimes ” including seven assaults and two robberies ” took place before July 14; since then, there have been seven serious crimes, police said.

“We’ve had a drastic increase in these types of crimes and it does seriously concern me,” said Avon Police Chief Brian Kozak.

The spree of violent crimes include several assaults and an attempted homicide, when Gustavo Adolfo Aparicio Romero, 19, an illegal immigrant of Honduras, tried to strangle his ex-girlfriend, police said.

Dimova said she and Bojilova were walking next to the Avon Center bus stop about midnight when a man attacked Bojilova, Dimova said.

The man jumped up and punched Bojilova in the back of the head and cursed at her, the police report says.

Then he kicked her and stole her white cotton purse with a blue flower pattern containing a Samsung cell phone and a Bulgarian passport, the report says.

The suspect in Monday’s mugging was described as a short, fat Hispanic man with a shaved head wearing a white T-shirt. Another Hispanic man, described as short and skinny, was with the suspect but he was not involved in the attack on Bojilova, the report says.

That man “just watched and did nothing,” said Dimova, who saw also saw a woman run away with the men.

Bojilova and Dimova did not know how old the men were, but the suspect sounded like he had a speech impediment, the report says.

“She cries,” Dimova said about Bojilova, who suffers from constant headaches after the alleged attack. “She’s scared very much.”

Like Monday’s mugging, most of the seven crimes from July 15 to Aug. 15 have had the potential for serious injury, Kozak said.

On Sunday, a drunken man who punched a woman in the face at Agave later was found with a butcher knife under his waistband, according to an Avon police report.

Orlen Roberto Martinez-Figueroa, 25, of Avon, was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully carrying a concealed knife and second-degree criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, the report says.

A bartender said Martinez-Figueroa was kicked out of the bar after striking the woman. When Martinez-Figueroa tried to return, he was kicked out again and police found him walking on a bridge on West Beaver Creek Boulevard, the report says.

Police did not find the woman, the report says.

Aug. 4, a 16-year-old brandished a gun and said, “‘I’m going to get you, I got this,'” to a man who said the teenager tried to fight him once before, according to another Avon police report.

The boy, whose name is being withheld because he’s a juvenile, then told the man he would beat him and then got into a black Volkswagen Jetta and drove away.

The man ran to police and reported the incident, the report says.

The boy was ticketed for felony menacing use of a deadly weapon, police said. The gun was not found, but the boy’s father said it was a BB gun, the report says.

“We’re just lucky the suspects did not fully use the deadly weapons,” Kozak said.

Two men mugged another man around midnight on the bike path July 30, said Avon police Detective Paul Arnold.

One of the suspects is still at large, but police would not release his name. The second suspect, Felipe Pacheco, an illegal immigrant of Mexico, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery and second-degree assault, both felonies.

People are encouraged to stay in lit areas, to walk in groups and to call 911 if they see a suspicious person, Kozak said.

Police are actively patrolling at night and are questioning suspicious people, he said.

Avon is not only place that has seen a recent spate in violent crime.

A Glenwood Springs police officer was shot July 29 but survived because he wore a bullet proof vest; a man was shot to death at the Ponderosa Lodge in West Glenwood Springs on June 25; on June 26, someone or multiple people fired shots into a Basalt 7-Eleven store window after an apparent confrontation with an employee there.

However, assaults are down in Vail and Avon. From 2004 to 2006, Avon and Vail saw a 23 and a 33 percent decrease, according to police. However, assaults rose 20 percent in unincorporated Eagle County, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.