Judge confirms Aspen joker’s felony charge
An Aspen man whose spectacularly bad-timed cop joke last fall landed him in jail for allegedly stealing an expensive jacket will face a charge of felony theft, a Pitkin County District Court judge decided Wednesday.
District Judge Chris Seldin made the determination Wednesday after listening to evidence presented against Carleton Meyers, 42, at a preliminary hearing.
The alleged theft involving Meyers first came to the attention of Aspen police in late October after a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority employee discovered a clothes hanger and a $1,499 price tag for a Kjus jacket in the Rubey Park bathroom, according to a police affidavit.
The RFTA employee reviewed surveillance video, where he saw a man enter the bathroom with a shopping bag from a local sporting goods store and then leave two minutes later without the bag but carrying a black jacket, according to the affidavit.
After a manager at the store confirmed a similar jacket was missing from his inventory, an Aspen police officer returned to Rubey Park to view additional surveillance footage. As the officer was about to watch the video with the employee at a desk at the transit hub, Meyers approached and said, “I didn’t do it” in a joking matter, the affidavit states.
The RFTA employee then told the officer that Meyers, who was wearing the same vest and backpack he wore in the surveillance video, was the man he was looking for.
“As it appeared at the time that the male had indeed ‘done it,’ (the officer) contacted him and asked for his identification,” the affidavit states. “Meyers refused to answer questions and requested an attorney be present.”
A subsequent search of Meyers’ apartment turned up the stolen jacket, plus five others of the same brand and price range, a detective said.
Meyers also faced theft and burglary charges in 2014. He has remained in the Pitkin County Jail since his arrest in October on a $100 cash-only bond.