Gun-wielding felon arrested
ASPEN A convicted felon was arrested Monday morning in Aspen after allegedly pistol-whipping and threatening to shoot a man traveling in his car.Ryan Dale Wagster, 31, of Rifle, is charged with three felonies, including second-degree assault, and three misdemeanors, including driving under the influence.Pitkin County dispatch received a report of a white pickup truck driving erratically near the 300 block of West Main street at 1:52 a.m. Monday. Soon after, the truck was reported stopped.The driver of a RFTA bus driving past the stopped truck called in to say that a man was pointing a gun at someone in the passenger seat, according to court documents. Less than five minutes later, the same truck was reported to have crashed on the 400 block of North Seventh Street. When Aspen police officer Jeff Fain arrived on the scene, he held all three men at gunpoint; when a second officer arrived, the men were placed in handcuffs and questioned.The arrest affidavit states the victim of the alleged assault, a 28-year-old male, refused to speak about the incident and was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital.According to court documents, police found a .22 caliber handgun, fully loaded, and a spent casing in or near the truck. In addition, blood was found on the butt of the handgun.Wagster told police that he and one of the victims, a 23-year-old male, were out drinking. He said they picked up some women and allowed one of them to drive, but she drove into a tree, court documents said.There were no women on the scene of the accident, however. And when the 23-year-old victim was asked if there were any women in the car he shook his head “no,” the affidavit said. Police said the third man on scene, the 28-year-old, was bloody. When Fain asked the 23-year-old if Wagster had hit the 28-year-old, his response was, “Check and see if [victim’s name] has a Ruger mark on the side of his head.”Wagster originally was held on $33,750 bond, though police recommended $250,000 bond based on the fact that a firearm was used in commission of a violent felony by a convicted felon. Wagster appeared in court Monday afternoon. According to Assistant District Attorney Gail Nichols, Wagster was previously convicted of second-degree assault on a police officer in 1999; he violated parole on that charge and returned to prison.On Monday, Wagster said that he needed treatment for alcohol issues and begged to be let free on a personal recognizance bond.District Judge James Boyd scheduled a bond hearing at the same time as Wagster’s arraignment, Aug. 6 at 10:30 a.m. In the meantime, Boyd reduced bond to $15,000. Wagster was charged with felony second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, felony menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, as well as three misdemeanors. If convicted, he would have to serve sentences for the first and last charge consecutively, a possible prison term of five to 13 1/2 years. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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