Glenwood fight sends 3 to hospital
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. ” Prosecutors were granted more time Wednesday to decide about filing charges against a man accused of beating three men with a baseball bat in a hillside transient camp.
William Isaiah Masoner, 38, was arrested on suspicion of charges of attempted second-degree murder, second-degree assault and menacing on May 31. Masoner wore the Garfield County jail’s maximum-security red jumpsuit in court and did not post a $100,000 bond Wednesday.
After 10 p.m. on May 31, Garfield County deputies responded to a report of an assault on the hillside above Wal-Mart and talked to a witness nearby. She said that a man named “Will” had “freaked out” and attacked three other men from behind with a log or stick at one of the camps, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“They were lying in heaps, and blood was everywhere,” she told deputies, shaking almost uncontrollably and on the verge of tears, according to an arrest affidavit.
The woman told deputies “Will” came at her with the club and she fled.
Deputies, several Glenwood Springs police officers and a police dog climbed the hillside and went to the camp.
A deputy saw a bloody baseball bat on the ground and two men lying on the ground who’d suffered major head trauma and were bleeding profusely. A third man was sitting up and bleeding profusely, the affidavit said. Authorities identified the injured men as Scott Cannon, Robert Davis and Kent Houston.
Law enforcement found “Will” in a tent, identified him as Masoner and arrested him.
The affidavit said Masoner tried to get out of his handcuffs and tried to kick an officer.
He was upset no one was asking him his side of the story and said that the three men tried to burn his tent and attacked him and that he was acting in self defense, the affidavit says. A deputy noticed a cut on his right nostril.
Michael Fuselier, another man in Masoner’s tent known as “Cooter,” told authorities he helped put out the fire but stayed inside the tent. Fuselier said he heard Masoner get out of the tent and start yelling and arguing with the three alleged victims, according to the affidavit, and he didn’t see the fight but “believed that Masoner might have been attacked by the three men in the camp.”
Fuselier and Lori Komaniecki, who was also in Masoner’s tent, showed up at Wednesday’s hearing in support of Masoner. Afterwards, Fuselier said Robert Davis had been drinking heavily and wanted Masoner off the mountain because Davis ” known as “Bob, from New York” ” claimed Masoner broke “the golden rule” about not bringing others up to the camp.
Fuselier and Komaniecki said the three men tried to start Masoner’s tent on fire with a piece of flaming cardboard and “jumped” Masoner with knives when he came out of the tent. They said Masoner acted in self defense and the others should be charged with assault and arson. They believe Masoner would be found innocent at trial.
“It’s too bad what happened to them boys,” Fuselier said. “But they messed with the wrong man.”
The arrest affidavit says Komaniecki told police after the incident only that she heard noise, figured it was boys being boys and didn’t want to get in the middle of it.
A doctor at Valley View Hospital told deputies Cannon and Davis had multiple skull fractures and “could very well die,” the affidavit says. They were flown to Denver Health. Cannon was listed in critical condition and Davis was in serious condition Wednesday afternoon. Dee Warwick of Valley View Hospital said Houston has been treated and released.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario didn’t return a phone message during office hours Wednesday requesting comment about the transient camps. Police Chief Terry Wilson said the Sheriff’s Office is handling the case and he believes the camps are outside the city limits. Fuselier said there are about six separate camps with maybe a dozen people located along the mountains immediately east and south of Glenwood Springs on Bureau of Land Management land.
Masoner will appear again for formal filing of charges July 2.
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Gunnison County commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing the continued use of all-terrain- and off-highway-vehicles on a segment of road approaching the Lead King Loop near Marble.