Deuce Bigelow: Two men have same name, but one’s wanted |

Deuce Bigelow: Two men have same name, but one’s wanted

John Colson

It seems two former area residents have almost the same name, but only one of them is being sought by California authorities on charges of child abuse and fleeing to avoid prosecution.

An Aspen Times news story on Nov. 29 was about wanted fugitive Aaron Jacob Bigelow, a Lake Tahoe man who was jailed on charges of beating his wife (in 1997) and child (in 1999), and who lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for a short time earlier this year.

According to California authorities, Bigelow was facing charges of child abuse a year ago but left the Lake Tahoe area before he could be tried. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he is now considered a fugitive.

But another man, Aaron Todd Bigelow, also happens to have lived in Lake Tahoe at one point and lived in the Aspen area until about a year ago. He is not the same man, according to family and friends.

“My son is an upstanding, fine citizen,” declared Jerry Bigelow, who runs a bed and breakfast in Crested Butte and who called The Aspen Times on Thursday to demand that the confusion be cleared up.

In addition, friends of Aaron Todd Bigelow have called The Aspen Times and the elder Bigelow, asking questions and expressing anger at the perception that their friend is being portrayed unfairly.

The similarities between certain aspects of the two men’s lives are remarkable.

Both are 31 years old. Both men attended high school in the Tahoe area, at the same time. Both have worked in the Aspen area, the fugitive as a finish carpenter and the non-fugitive as a ski instructor and at numerous other jobs.

And, according to Jerry Bigelow, the two actually have met.

“Their paths have crossed,” Jerry Bigelow said, explaining that it happened in the 1980s near Lake Tahoe.

“We were talking about people having the same name one time,” Bigelow recalled, “and he said, `You know, Dad, there was another guy in Tahoe named Aaron Bigelow, and I met him.’ “

The two did not hit it off, the elder Bigelow said, recalling that his son referred to the other as “a derelict guy, a kind of a troublemaker.” Bigelow said the “troublemaker” went to a different school than did his son, and that the two did not have friends in common.

Further proof that his son cannot be the man sought by California authorities, said Bigelow, is that he is working as a real estate agent in the city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and could not have been in Colorado during late August and early September.

In addition, according to family and friends, Aaron Todd Bigelow has no children, and just got married in Aspen last year.

According to law enforcement authorities, Aaron Jacob Bigelow was arrested in the spring of 1999 on charges that he broke a leg and two fingers of his own child, when the mother was not around.

Authorities say he jumped bail a short time before the case was to go to trial in the spring of 1999. A bench warrant was issued in September 1999, according to Placer County, Calif., records.

Ed Westerick, a private investigator working for the bondsman who paid Bigelow’s bail, said the suspect has been reported in Knoxville, Tenn.; Princeton, Ind.; and Park City, Utah, besides Colorado and California.

He was living in El Jebel in late August and early September and apparently left the area only one step ahead of Westerick.

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