Florida man charged with attempted murder in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Florida man charged with attempted murder in Aspen

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Mark Kaiser

ASPEN – Aspen police on Wednesday arrested a 38-year-old Florida man on suspicion of attempted murder after he allegedly beat, stabbed and choked his girlfriend at her West Hopkins Avenue residence early Wednesday morning.

Mark A. Kaiser, who listed his address as 333 Worth Ave., Palm Beach, Fla., was booked into the Pitkin County Jail around midday Wednesday. The address he gave police is in a chic Palm Beach arts and retail district. The arrest report lists his occupation as “art galleries.”

During an advisement hearing Wednesday afternoon, Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols set Kaiser’s bond at $10,000 after determining that there was probable cause to detain him on second-degree assault and felony menacing charges. In addition to those two charges, Arnold Mordkin, chief deputy district attorney, intends to pursue a charge of second-degree attempted murder.

Nichols also issued a restraining order barring Kaiser from direct contact with his 49-year-old girlfriend, who also lives in Palm Beach, and stipulated that he cannot drink alcohol. Kaiser told the judge he intended to bond out of Pitkin County Jail on Wednesday night and that he would stay at a Denver hotel until his next Aspen court appearance, which was set for 10:30 a.m. Monday.

“You must stay away from her home, and you must stay away from any other location where she is likely to be found,” Nichols warned Kaiser. “You must refrain from contacting her or directly or indirectly communicating with her.”

“I understand 100 percent. My lawyer already told me,” Kaiser said. During the proceeding he sat quietly, wearing handcuffs, ankle shackles, a jail-issued orange shirt and blue jeans.

“No drinking. That means you can’t be near it. So don’t go into a bar,” Nichols said, later noting that “alcohol appears to be a serious issue here.”

The arrest affidavit, written by Aspen Police Officer Vanessa March, largely relies upon statements from the alleged victim and Kaiser.

The woman, according to the affidavit, said she and Kaiser left a local bar at about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. On the way to her home, he sped up and left her to walk alone.

When she arrived, he was sitting in a chair and watching TV, the alleged victim stated. They began arguing and she yelled at him, telling him to leave, she said. She then proceeded to throw his clothes into the living room, she told police.

Soon he became violent, the affidavit said. He grabbed her by the hair and neck and threw her to the kitchen floor, she alleged.

“Kaiser grabbed knives out of the wooden knife block located on the counter; (he) held the knives to (the victim), stabbed her and stabbed himself with the various knives,” March’s affidavit said.

Meanwhile, the alleged victim was “fighting for her life (and) crying, ‘please stop,'” the affidavit said.

She told police that Kaiser commented on the blood on his shirt, saying it was “my blood now” while also telling the alleged victim that he loved her. He then choked her, grabbed her hair and banged her head against the kitchen cabinets, the affidavit said.

“(She) thought she was going to be ‘sliced up’ and said that she was ‘petrified.'” March wrote in the affidavit. “(She) tried to calm Kaiser down by telling him she loved him too.”

A male friend of the alleged victim reportedly arrived shortly before 2 a.m. after being unable to reach her by phone. He took her to the Limelight Lodge and phoned police, the affidavit said.

Shortly after 10 a.m., when police found Kaiser at the alleged victim’s West Hopkins home, he reportedly said that he didn’t remember much.

He told the police officer that they had been going out for more than three years and that “every two months we do this. … This is normal.”

March stated that she took photos of “visible scrapes and bruising on the right side of (the victim’s) back in three places between her bra and buttocks area. (She) had a visible puncture wound on the front side of her right forearm.”

The affidavit doesn’t say whether the alleged victim was taken to a local hospital or doctor’s office for treatment.

Mordkin said that apparently Kaiser has no criminal history other than some minor traffic violations in the Denver area. Nichols said she would determine Monday whether he will be allowed to travel back to Florida. For the time being, he must remain in Colorado.


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