Cops: ‘Unpleasant’ man berates parking officer for a city block
A local man known for “generally unpleasant behavior” repeatedly berated an Aspen parking officer Saturday downtown for chalking his tire, according to a police report.
In fact, the verbal abuse of the parking officer by Max Johnson was so intense that one witness driving a car pulled over and told an Aspen police officer he’d been willing to testify to what he saw, while another stopped by the Aspen Police Department the next day specifically to submit a statement about Johnson’s behavior, the police report states.
“(The second witness’) statement form (indicated) Johnson ‘verbally assaulted’ (the parking officer) ‘4-5 times,’” according to the APD report. “(The witness) was not asked to do this but did so on his own.”
Police officers were called to the disturbance at the corner of Original Street and Cooper Avenue in Aspen’s downtown commercial core about 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I responded and saw the (parking officer) being pursued and berated by a male who was unknown to me initially,” according to the initial officer’s report. “(The parking officer’s) body language was non-confrontational, and he tried to speak to me, but the other male was yelling so incessantly that (the officer) could not speak to me.
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“The male continued loudly yelling obscenities and his body language was threatening to the point that I placed him in handcuffs.”
Another officer who knew Johnson arrived on scene and identified him to the first officer.
“I had not personally contacted Johnson previously but he is and was well known to most law enforcement agencies and officers in the upper valley for his harassing, belligerent and generally unpleasant behavior,” the officer wrote in his report.
The parking officer told police he chalked the tire of Johnson’s vehicle after Johnson parked on Cooper Avenue. Johnson saw him make the chalk mark — a method parking officers use to tell how long a vehicle has been parked in a particular spot — and began yelling at him “for touching his vehicle,” according to the police report.
Johnson allegedly berated the officer for an entire city block before he called police.
“I most definitely felt in danger,” the parking officer told police in a written statement.
Johnson said the parking officer “had no right to touch his vehicle” and that the man was “verbally abusive to him,” the report states.
Johnson was cited for misdemeanor harassment.
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