Dallas news personality hatches deal after Aspen disturbance
A Dallas television personality fired from his morning news-anchor position after a recent disturbance in Aspen, has reached a deal that stipulates he won’t be prosecuted if he behaves for the next six months.
On Oct. 22, Brendan Higgins, 46, agreed to a deferred prosecution on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting and interfering with an officer.
“He didn’t enter a plea, and the prosecution is frozen if he completes certain things and obviously doesn’t do other things,” Snowmass Village attorney Lawson Wills, who represented Higgins, said Tuesday.
Conditions of the deferred prosecution require Higgins to pay $150 to Aspen Municipal Court, undergo counseling, write a letter of apology to the Aspen Police Department and not violate any laws in Aspen or Colorado for six months starting Oct. 22, according to a court order.
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Higgins’ Aug. 6 arrest at the Residences at the Little Nell made a splash in Dallas-Fort Worth media reports — with a blogger known as Uncle Barky breaking the news. The transgression resulted in his termination from KTVT, a CBS affiliate.
On Aug. 17, Higgins posted the following message on his Facebook page: “If my email inbox is any indication, many of you are wondering about a recent incident in Aspen, Colo., that resulted in my arrest. Sorry it took so long to issue a post as I’ve been dealing with the related matters. First, I need to apologize for the negative attention this incident has brought to my wife and our family, our friends and the many wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years. I’m also sorry to the authorities in Aspen, who do a great job every day. I simply put myself and others in a bad situation, which will not happen again. My plan is to answer the legal charges against me. Thanks to all of you who have sent your support.”
Aspen police reports say that officers responded to the Residences at the Little Nell after allegations of Higgins punching one of the lodge’s drivers and being violent with the staff. When police confronted Higgins, he said, “I was an a–hole,” Officer Greggory Cole wrote.
Higgins then started laughing, and after officers handcuffed him, he deemed them “f—ing pieces of s—” and threatened to “beat you until you’re dead.” The anchorman also took a swipe at Cole, the officer wrote, prompting Cole to push him toward the elevator doors.
“Higgins hit the elevator with his head and then pretended to pass out and slumped to the door,” Cole wrote. “I could tell that Higgins had not actually passed out because he was giggling.”
Officers later took Higgins outside and placed his legs in nylon restraints to stop him from kicking, Cole wrote.
Higgins’ antics continued when the medics arrived, Cole wrote.
“I asked Higgins if he had diabetes and he said yes,” Cole wrote. “When I asked if he had Type 1 or Type II diabetes, Higgins did not respond. I asked Higgins if he had Type 0 diabetes (which does not exist) and he stated that he did. Higgins repeatedly threatened the medics.”
Wills said despite the August incident, Higgins “is an exemplary individual” with no prior criminal record.
“He came to Aspen on vacation, and alcohol and altitude can make you do things you normally wouldn’t do,” Wills said.
Wills said the disposition was fair because nobody was hurt, but Cole “obviously put up with more than he should have.”
Likewise, city prosecutor Deborah Quinn said that while deferred prosecutions are rare in Aspen Municipal Court, she felt the one for Higgins was warranted.
“All I’m willing to say is I thought the circumstances justified the approach,” she said Wednesday. “Every case is different, and I thought it was justified here.”
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