Fractured relations among transients appear to play role in stabbing at Buttermilk park lot

Did a failed romance lead to a stabbing in Aspen’s Buttermilk ski area parking lot?

Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies are investigating exactly what happened on Monday night when a 911 call reported an assault. Aspen city police offered assistance. Officers and medics found three men on the western side of the lot. One was bleeding. 

The deputy’s report said the assault occurred in unincorporated Pitkin County parking area known as “a favorite for transients to car camp because the ‘no camping’ signs are not enforced by the city of Aspen.”

According to the deputy’s report, one of the uninjured men, Billie Bogard, was handcuffed and voluntarily described the night’s events. Bogard explained he was asleep in his van when someone banging on the door awakened him. He said he was confronted by two “angry and drunken transients” identified as Chris and Guy. The two accused Bogard of forcing a female transient to flee the Buttermilk lot after their relationship failed. Bogard said Guy beat him up, and the duo was pushing and “smothering” him and knocked him on his back multiple times. When the fight spilled inside his van, Bogard said he grabbed his knife and warned the men he would use it to defend himself. In the ensuing melee, Chris was cut.

Medics took Chris to the hospital, and an officer drove Guy there, so he could comfort his friend. Officers also interviewed Guy, who said he slept in a minivan at Buttermilk but can’t drive due to DUI restrictions he must obey. Guy denied Bogard’s version of the fight, describing an unprovoked assault by Bogard. Guy denied being drunk, although he said he was drinking since he didn’t have to work that day. He said the fighting started after he received a text from a woman named Celeste, who also lived in her Honda Pilot in the same lot. He says she asked him to tell Bogard to leave her alone.

Officers collected evidence including a knife and agreed to do a follow-up interview with Bogard. The district attorney on duty decided there was not enough evidence to charge anyone at that moment.

A deputy offered to drive Bogard back to Buttermilk, so he could move his motorcycle and van to a safer location for the night. As they returned to the parking lot, they spotted Guy hurrying from the bus stop toward his own vehicle camp. When they came to Bogard’s van, they found its windshield was newly-smashed and the side mirrors broken off. Bogard drove his van and motorcycle to a different place.

Two officers searched the area for Guy, but he had vanished. 

Early Tuesday morning, Bogard phoned the Sheriff’s Office sounding alarmed because Guy and Celeste were parked near him in the Buttermilk lot.

The deputy who responded spoke at length with Guy and Celeste, who said Bogard had never been violent toward her but was “controlling” and unable to accept that their relationship had soured.

The officer asked Guy if he was in love with Celeste.

Guy replied, “I don’t know, dude. We just liked having her around. She brightened our day.” But as they continued to talk, Guy admitted, “She just looks at me, and I fall in love with her.”

He added that he has no intention of leaving the Buttermilk lot, whether Bogard stays or goes.