Aspen city worker among DUIs over Labor Day
September 6, 2017
Aspen police arrested four people for drunken driving during the Labor Day weekend, including a city employee caught driving a government vehicle, according to reports.
"Yeah, it's a lot for a weekend," Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said. "But I don't think this is an indication of a sudden DUI wave."
Normally, Aspen police find one or two drunken drivers in a weekend, he said. The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office arrested no one for DUI last weekend, according to records.
Thomas Reynolds, 32, who works for the city of Aspen Water Department, caught the attention of an Aspen police officer about 2 a.m. Saturday when he braked "erratically" while stopping for a light at Main and Aspen streets, according to a police report.
After the light turned green, Reynolds, who was driving a 2013 Toyota pickup with city of Aspen license plates, weaved while driving, crossed the center line while traveling across the Castle Creek Bridge and then took the roundabout to Castle Creek Road and weaved again across the center, yellow line, the report states.
Officer Kirk Wheatley followed the truck as it turned on to Doolittle Drive and watched the driver nearly hit a curb, the report states.
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"I knew the road ended at the (city) water plant and was wondering where the truck was going," Wheatley wrote in his report, noting that he activated his emergency lights as they neared the end of the road. "As the truck was stopping, I noticed the gate to the water plant open."
Reynolds, who smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech, told the officer he worked at the plant and was going to get his car.
"Reynolds told me he was on call for work, and he was going to sleep in his car at work in case he was called out for an emergency," Wheatley's report states. "I thought this to be very weird because I know the Water Department isn't called out too much."
Reynolds told the officer he'd had "some" to drink that night, the report notes.
Reynolds declined to take roadside sobriety tests and declined to take a breath alcohol test or allow his blood to be drawn for a test. He later chose to remain at the Pitkin County Jail until he was sober, according to the report.
As of Wednesday, Reynolds was still employed by the city while the Human Resources Department conducts an investigation, said Mitzi Rapkin, city spokeswoman. Reynolds immediately lost all driving privileges after his arrest and is not allowed to drive while the investigation is active, she said.
Approximately 24 hours after Reynolds' arrest, Wheatley and another officer were on patrol on Main Street again when they spotted a red Audi driving erratically, according to another police report.
The Audi was driving 10 mph under the speed limit over the Castle Creek Bridge, then nearly hit the curb at the roundabout and a center divider farther up the road, the report states. After the officers pulled the car over, the driver, Angel Cruz-Olmedo, admitted to drinking two beers an hour earlier, according to the report.
Cruz-Olmedo first said he and the passenger were at a bar, then said they'd been at a party on Red Mountain. The passenger, who owned the car, looked "very pale" and Officer Danielle Madril asked him if he needed to vomit, the report states.
"(The passenger) nodded yes," according to the report. "I told (the passenger) he could open the passenger door and vomit outside the car if he needed to.
"(The passenger) opened the door and threw up on the side of the highway."
Cruz-Olmedo failed roadside sobriety tests and later blew a 0.12 on a portable breath alcohol test, the report states.
Two drivers were arrested for DUI on Friday night thanks to people who called emergency dispatchers to report suspicious behavior.
An officer stopped Rachel Everett, 32, of Snowmass Village about 10:30 p.m. in front of the Hotel Jerome after one of the calls, according to a third police report. Everett admitted to drinking three beers and had slurred speech and "seemed confused," the report states.
Everett had a passport but no driver's license on her and said, "I just don't know" when an officer asked for her insurance and registration, according to the report.
Everett later failed roadside sobriety tests and refused to take a breath-alcohol test, the report states.
Finally, officers stopped Thomas Bennett, 52, of Aspen just before 2 a.m. in the 700 block of Durant Avenue. The stop was a result of another call to dispatchers, according to the Aspen Police Department's records custodian. Bennett's arrest report was not available Wednesday, though he was charged with DUI.
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